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    Branding: Marketing Channels, Intermediaries, and Brand Equity

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    1. Southwest Airline has mastered the low-price model and has the financial results to prove it. Why don't the other airlines copy Southwest's model?

    2 Why are marketing channels and intermediaries necessary? What is the most important function carried out by intermediaries? Why? Why do channel arrangements sometimes need to be modified over time?

    3. What impact does the presence of knockoffs have on a brand?

    4. What is brand equity and how is it built, measured, and managed?

    5. What is new product failure? How should company treat new product failure? Explain other drawbacks of new products eg, fragmented markets, development costs and capital shortage, etc.

    6. Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind the Real Thing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPjg5lBOcu8). This new Coke was the result of getting the first step in the marketing research process wrong. What is the first step?

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    1.There are a few reasons why Southwest will always be an airline of choice and the leading in the airline industry in terms of loyalty ratings. One of these reasons is the customer satisfaction that their loyal customers have experienced in all the years that they have been patronizing Southwest Airlines. It stays true to its brand promise with their low fares, prompt departures and arrivals to destinations, and making sure their employees and customers are having fun and are enjoying the experience (Thompson, 2013). Southwest maintains an organizational culture that gives primary importance to their employees and considers them as their "first customers" and their passengers come as second because they believe that happy employees working as a family or a team who dedicate themselves to work hard and with pride for the company can foster the same spirit of satisfaction to their customers. Southwest Airlines has won 24 times for Customer Satisfaction which gave them a relevant position in the marketplace giving them the best competitive advantage than most airlines. Another reason is the company's cost-cutting measures with all their expenses lesser than other airlines. This includes their aggressive use of hedging to keep their fuel costs under control. They have hedged 70% of its annual jet-fuel requirements as compared to only 30% by other airlines which gives it an edge of low-cost fuel to keep it profitable for the coming year. Other companies can't follow Southwest's aggressive hedging as they are already in debts and others have sought bankruptcy. Another advantage that Southwest has with other airlines is their keeping of only one plane, their devotion to Boeing 737, which allows their crews to be trained on only one type of airplane, with same parts for them if ever there is a need to replace or repair, interchangeable fleets not a problem as crews are familiar with it already.

    308 words
    References as of November 10, 2014:
    Thompson, B. (2013). Lean, Not Mean - 3 Reasons Why Southwest Wns with a Culture that Empowers Employees. Retrieved from http://customerthink.com/lean_not_mean_how_southwest_wins_with_a_culture_that_empowers_employees/

    2. With intermediaries (agents, wholesalers, distributors, retailers), a company delivers its products to its consumers without the need to own all of those in the supply chain (Boundless, n.d.). These intermediaries make it possible for the manufacturer to deliver their products to the end users and ...

    Solution Summary

    This response looks at several products and the impact that branding has on the respective products. Concepts such as channels, intermediaries, brand equity, and new product failure.