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The Brand Report Card by K. L. Keller Vs the Balanced Scorecard by S. Kaplan, D. P. Norton

Autor:   •  March 6, 2017  •  Article Review  •  893 Words (4 Pages)  •  510 Views

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The Brand Report Card by K. L. Keller vs The Balanced Scorecard by S. Kaplan, D. P. Norton

The sole objective of both the articles is to identify on what front firms need to work on to maximize the value they deliver to the customer and succeed in their businesses. In my opinion, the Brand Report Card gives a more strategic perspective of doing this with a focus on only one aspect of the company – its Brand; how a company sees itself and what the customer expects from it. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) gives a more detailed and tactical overview of the measures that a firm needs to focus and objectives that the firm should achieve to monitor and improve their performance in the market.

In the Brand Report Card, Keller focuses on 10 attributes that successful brands in the world continuously focus on not only to sustain but also be leaders in their industries. I strongly agree with the author that brands should focus on delivering what the customer truly desires. As Keller mentioned Starbucks, I would like to highlight that Montblanc1 opened its retail stores in 1990 to first sell writing instruments (its core product category), positioned itself in the luxury industry, launched its line of leather goods (1995), jewelry for men (1997) etc. and now has one of the largest directly operated chain of luxury retail stores in the world. The author also says that pricing strategy affects brand value. I agree that pricing at both ends of the strategy spectrum can affect brand equity in different ways. For example, premium pricing2 is the principle of setting a high price point to reflect the product’s exclusivity and quality. Customers of Rolex and Rolls Royce would expect the high price and enjoy the exclusivity.

On the same lines, the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) article also says that firms should focus on the ‘Customer perspective’ through the its offerings. The firm should deliver products and services in line with the customers’ perception of the firm. For example, if we consider a Customer in the scorecard of Southwest Airlines3, then it will boil down to frequent-reliable departures and low ticket prices. However, pricing strategy in the BSC approach is a mix of both Customer Perspective and Internal Business Perspective which also ties in the unit cost and manufacturing aspects to the pricing. The BSC focuses on innovation and learning which I believe is essential to a firm’s success. The Brand report conveys the same thing by saying that the Brand should stay relevant and be consistent. Keller cited the importance of staying relevant through the example of Gillette. I do agree that the challenge of brand relevance is akin to the challenge of innovation4.

The key differentiator between the Brand Report Card and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is the inclusion of the Financial Perspective and Internal Business Perspective as specific measures of performance. The Brand report card on the other hand does not focus on the financial perspective at all. One example, where I can see the brand is dependent on financial growth is Berkshire Hathaway5 where the brand is totally dependent on consistent financial growth and the trusted acumen of Warren Buffet. The Internal Business Perspective in the BSC, which focuses on process optimization and improvement is also omitted in the Brand Report Card. A notable example of process efficiency and superior quality being sources of brand equity is Toyota Motors6. In these two aspects, I think the BSC takes a more realistic approach to managing a firm’s brand. As the authors also say, good financial performance also help in building brand value. Another important difference between the BSC and the Brand Report Card is that the BSC is more of a framework to assess the performance and set goals for a company and the Brand report card is an assessment of the company’s brand value in terms of how its products and services are viewed by the consumer.


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