Strategic brand management in a growing and innovative specialty chemical industry
Steenekamp, Hendrik Stephanus
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Buckman Laboratories (Pty) Ltd. (hereafter referred to as Buckman Laboratories) is an international, privately owned, specialty chemical manufacturer. The company's marketing strategy is based on customer intimacy and knowledge sharing and currently segments its markets (pulp and paper, water, leather and mining) by means of customer categorization based on industry potential sales. The Buckman brand is synonymous with the heavy industries (Sasol, ArcelorMittal, Mondi, Sappi, Eskom). For the company to grow and increase its profitability, Buckman Laboratories has to identify and select innovative brand drivers to stay competitive in the heavy industry market segment as well as identify other market segments to compete profitably in. In this study the Logical brand management model was specifically applied in terms of the customer perspective. Brand and cost drivers were identified from the company's and customers' perspective to identify opportunities in the current market segments (pulp and paper, water and leather). Metrics utilized were traditional gap analysis as well as the Opportunity Algorithm from Ulwick. Of importance was the consistent alignment of the model with Buckman Laboratories' strategy. The model includes continuous improvement, on-time delivery, product innovation, knowledge sharing, and providing a holistic product/service offering as brand drivers that will ensure innovative growth of the Buckman Laboratories brand. The conclusion is that the Logical brand management model as developed by Marc Logman may be successfully utilized to identify brand drivers to grow the Buckman Laboratories brand innovatively in future.