The business of modern commerce spotlights brands
By Dr Carla Enslin
Degree qualifications need to be of value, have real substance and above all, completely justify the expectations of employers. A tall order, perhaps, but precisely what The Independent Institution of Education (The IIE) Vega School of Brand Leadership has set out to achieve with the 2015 launch of three new degrees: a BCom in Strategic Brand Management, a BCom in Digital Marketing and a BA in Strategic Brand Communication.
These degree qualifications will help to provide a team of professionals that businesses and organisations increasingly rely upon to grow product and service portfolios with distinctive identities, offerings and market strategies. In larger corporations where brands are treated like businesses within the company, brand managers act essentially as small business owners. A brand manager will typically monitor the competitive landscape, develop and execute strategies to exploit market opportunities, and deliver sales volume, market share, and profit projections for the business.
Brand managers help to construct the unique value that the organisation, its products and services, hold in stakeholders’ minds and the extent to which this value translates into business success. These professionals are consequently also the auditors and keepers of an abstract set of variables as they map, measure and track brand awareness, fields of perception and the loyalty of relationships. Brand management training leads to the development of a mind and skillset that is analytical and creative, systematic and synthetic. The contemporary brand manager does not regard market targets solely as passive consumers, but rather as potential collaborators or co-creators in innovating and building business portfolios. The strategic brand manager is an analyst, a strategist, a design thinker and innovator who brings new ideas into practical use. The best of the best disrupt industries, shift expectations and redefine category economics as a whole.
If these challenges sound like ideal opportunities for prospective students in marketing, accounting and management disciplines, then the new IIE degrees offered at Vega should deliver the rewards any ambitious hardworking young person deserves.
Whether the brand is a company, not-for-profit organisation, political party, city or country, brand managers are responsible for brand differentiation that adds value to peoples’ lives. The primary purpose of brand building is to create and introduce unique value offerings where the needs exist and which result in significant long-term relationships between the company/brands and customers/clients. The focus of the brand manager is therefore on every dimension of the business that influences how all stakeholders (shareholders, management, employees, suppliers, customers and the public at large) relate to the brand; what they think, feel and believe about the brand and how they may react toward the brand. Brand managers consequently pursue a total value chain orientation in considering all stakeholder relationships with the brand.
Brand management has a significant and respected history, dating from the very first transactions humans undertook. More recently, and over the past 90 years, brand management has been identified as separate and important within businesses. In a famous missive to management, Neil McElroy sat down to write the first known job description of a brand manager in 1931 to explain why he needed to appoint ‘brand men’ to the team of advertising, sales and marketing people at Procter & Gamble. The introduction of the role compelled the then president of the company, R. R. Deupree, to completely restructure P&G into a brand-centric organisation.
Brands are no longer perceived as only pertaining to fast moving consumer goods and brands are no longer positioned as functions of marketing only. Today, many industries and categories are challenged by states of proliferation and parity in offering and in modes of distribution and communication. To succeed, a brand with an authentic identity is required, one that translates into meaningful and enduring relationships with products and services. There exists, rightfully so, less room to create or perpetuate offerings based on shallow or false promises.
The dedicated focus on strategic brand management in the study of commerce will produce uniquely qualified students for rewarding careers in brand management, digital marketing and communication. Collectively, this set of qualifications aims to graduate a class of strategists that will grow brands and businesses of value. Individually, the programmes cater for unique fields, industries and careers of interest in strategic brand management.
British Accreditation Council
Students looking for a future in brand excellence can now rest assured they are receiving world class education in the industry through Vega School of Brand Leadership (Vega), a brand of the Independent Institute of Education (the IIE). The Independent Institute of Education is now internationally accredited.
After a rigorous process that included the submission of hundreds of pages of documentation, a comprehensive self-evaluation report and a six day visit of inspection from the British Accreditation Council The Independent Institute is now accredited by the BAC as an international centre.
This important achievement demonstrates to our students and staff that our standards are indeed world class; provides great direction for further development of our work and ensures that students can be confident about the value of their qualifications. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the UK that accredits private providers in the UK and in other countries such as Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates.
Vega will now benefit from accreditation from the British Accreditation Council (BAC) which has been granted to The IIE, the first institution in South Africa to be recognised by the BAC. Such an accreditation benefits both the institution and its students. The institution is awarded a mark of quality; accreditation by an independent and well-established national body, which is recognised in the UK and internationally.
The BAC has been responsible for setting standards internationally within the independent higher education sector for the past 25 years. They provide the leading mark of quality for the education sector as a guarantee of standards.
For aspirants who have an endless passion for innovation and branding, Vega is ready to prepare you for the world of brand leadership. For admission requirements and further information about Vega please visit www.vegaschool.com.
Article submitted by Vega School of Branding
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