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A brand is a distinguishing name and/or symbol intended to identify a product or producer.

Concepts

Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.

People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. Orientation of the whole organization towards its brand is called integrated marketing.

Careful brand management, supported by a cleverly crafted advertising campaign, can be highly successful in convincing consumers to pay remarkably high prices for products which are inherently extremely cheap to make. This concept, known as creating value, essentially consists of manipulating the projected image of the product so that the consumer sees the product as being worth the amount that the advertiser wants him/her to see, rather than a more logical valuation that comprises an aggregate of the cost of raw materials, plus the cost of manufacture, plus the cost of distribution. Modern value-creation branding-and-advertising campaigns are highly successful at inducing consumers to pay, for example, 50 dollars for a T-shirt that cost a mere 50 cents to make, or 5 dollars for a box of breakfast cereal that contains a few cents' worth of wheat.

Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price - they represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer. There are many intangibles involved in business, intangibles left wholly from the income statement and balance sheet which determine how a business is perceived. The learned skill of a knowledge worker, the type of metal working, the type of stitch: all may be without an 'accounting cost' but for those who truly know the product, for it is these people the company should wish to find and keep, the difference is incomparable. Failing to recognize these assets that a business, any business, can create and maintain will set an enterprise at a serious disadvantage.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for go.com.

Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic (see also brand promise). From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.

Brand name

The brand name is quite often used interchangeably within "brand", although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of any product. In this context a "brand name" constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration. Advertising spokespersons have also become part of some brands, for example: Mr. Whipple of Charmin toilet tissue and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg's.

Brand names will fall into one of three spectrums of use - Descriptive, Associative or Freestanding.

Descriptive brand names assist in describing the distinguishable selling point(s) of the product to the customer (eg Snap, Crackle and Pop or Bitter Lemon).

Associative brand names provide the customer with an associated word for what the product promises to do or be (e.g. Walkman, Sensodyne or Natrel)

Finally, Freestanding brand names have no links or ties to either descriptions or associations of use. (eg Mars Bar or Pantene)

The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer jeans. A brandnomer is a brand name that has colloquially become a generic term for a product or service, such as Band-Aid or Kleenex, which are often used to describe any kind of adhesive bandage or any kind of facial tissue respectively.

Brand identity

A product identity, or brand image are typically the attributes one associates with a brand, how the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand - and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Effective brand names build a connection between the brand personality as it is perceived by the target audience and the actual product/service. The brand name should be conceptually on target with the product/service (what the company stands for). Furthermore, the brand name should be on target with the brand demographic. Typically, sustainable brand names are easy to remember, transcend trends and have positive connotations. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors.

Brand identity is what the owner wants to communicate to its potential consumers. However, over time, a products brand identity may acquire (evolve), gaining new attributes from consumer perspective but not necessarily from the marketing communications an owner percolates to targeted consumers. Therefore, brand associations become handy to check the consumer's perception of the brand.

Brand identity needs to focus on authentic qualities - real characteristics of the value and brand promise being provided and sustained by organisational and/or production characteristics.

Brand parity

Brand parity is the perception of the customers that all brands are equivalent.

Branding approaches

Company name

Often, especially in the industrial sector, it is just the company's name which is promoted (leading to one of the most powerful statements of "branding"; the saying, before the company's downgrading, "No one ever got fired for buying IBM").

In this case a very strong brand name (or company name) is made the vehicle for a range of products (for example, Mercedes-Benz or Black & Decker) or even a range of subsidiary brands (such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Flake or Cadbury Fingers in the United States).

Individual branding

Each brand has a separate name (such as Seven-Up, Kool-Aid or Nivea Sun (Beiersdorf)), which may even compete against other brands from the same company (for example, Persil, Omo, Surf and Lynx are all owned by Unilever).

Attitude branding and Iconic brands

Attitude branding is the choice to represent a larger feeling, which is not necessarily connected with the product or consumption of the product at all. Marketing labeled as attitude branding include that of Nikemarker, Starbucks, The Body Shop, Safeway, and Apple Inc.marker. In the 2000 book No Logo, Naomi Klein describes attitude branding as a "fetish strategy".
"A great brand raises the bar -- it adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it's the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you're drinking really matters."
- Howard Schultz (president, CEO, and chairman of Starbucks)


Iconic brands are defined as having aspects that contribute to consumer's self-expression and personal identity. Brands whose value to consumers comes primarily from having identity value comes are said to be "identity brands". Some of these brands have such a strong identity that they become more or less "cultural icons" which makes them iconic brands. Examples of iconic brands are: Apple Inc.marker, Nikemarker and Harley Davidson. Many iconic brands include almost ritual-like behaviour when buying and consuming the products.

There are four key elements to creating iconic brands (Holt 2004):
  1. "Necessary conditions" - The performance of the product must at least be ok preferably with a reputation of having good quality.
  2. "Myth-making" - A meaningful story-telling fabricated by cultural "insiders". These must be seen as legitimate and respected by consumers for stories to be accepted.
  3. "Cultural contradictions" - Some kind of mismatch between prevailing ideology and emergent undercurrents in society. In other words a difference with the way consumers are and how they some times wish they were.
  4. "The cultural brand management process" - Actively engaging in the myth-making process making sure the brand maintains its position as an icon.


"No-brand" branding

Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued "No-Brand" strategies, examples include the Japanesemarker company Muji, which means "No label" in English (from 無印良品 – "Mujirushi Ryohin" – literally, "No brand quality goods"). Although there is a distinct Muji brand, Muji products are not branded. This no-brand strategy means that little is spent on advertisement or classical marketing and Muji's success is attributed to the word-of-mouth, a simple shopping experience and the anti-brand movement."No brand" branding is actually branding as the brand is made conspicous through its absence.

Derived brands

In this case the supplier of a key component, used by a number of suppliers of the end-product, may wish to guarantee its own position by promoting that component as a brand in its own right. The most frequently quoted example is Intelmarker, which secures its position in the PC market with the slogan "Intel Inside".

Brand extension

The existing strong brand name can be used as a vehicle for new or modified products;for example, many fashion and designer companies extended brands into fragrances, shoes and accessories, home textile, home decor, luggage, (sun-) glasses, furniture, hotels, etc.

Mars extended its brand to ice cream, Caterpillar to shoes and watches, Michelin to a restaurant guide, Adidas and Puma to personal hygiene. Dunlop extended its brand from tires to other rubber products such as shoes, golf balls, tennis racquets and adhesives.

There is a difference between brand extension and line extension.When Coca-Cola launched "Diet Coke" and "Cherry Coke" they stayed within the originating product category: non-alcoholic carbonated beverages. Procter & Gamble (P&G) did likewise extending its strong lines (such as Fairy Soap) into neighboring products (Fairy Liquid and Fairy Automatic) within the same category, dish washing detergents.

Multi-brands

Alternatively, in a market that is fragmented amongst a number of brands a supplier can choose deliberately to launch totally new brands in apparent competition with its ownexisting strong brand (and often with identical product characteristics); simply to soak up some of the share of the market which will in any case go to minor brands. The rationale is that having 3 out of 12 brands in such a market will give a greater overall share than having 1 out of 10 (even if much of the share of these new brands is taken from the existing one). In its most extreme manifestation, a supplier pioneering a new market which it believes will be particularly attractive may choose immediately to launch a second brand in competition with its first, in order to pre-empt others entering the market.

Individual brand names naturally allow greater flexibility by permitting a variety of different products, of differing quality, to be sold without confusing the consumer's perception of whatbusiness the company is in or diluting higher quality products.

Once again, Procter & Gamble is a leading exponent of this philosophy, running as many as ten detergent brands in the US market. This also increases the total number of "facings" it receives on supermarket shelves. Sara Lee, on the other hand, uses it to keep the very different parts of the business separate — from Sara Lee cakes through Kiwi polishes to L'Eggs pantyhose. In the hotel business, Marriott uses the name Fairfield Inns for its budget chain (and Ramada uses Rodeway for its own cheaper hotels).

Cannibalization is a particular problem of a "multibrand" approach, in which the new brand takes business away from an established one which the organization also owns. This may be acceptable (indeed to be expected) if there is a net gain overall. Alternatively, it may be the price the organization is willing to pay for shifting its position in the market; the new product being one stage in this process.

Private labels

With the emergence of strong retailers, private label brands, also called own brands, or store brands, also emerged as a major factor in the marketplace. Where the retailer has a particularly strong identity (such as Marks & Spencer in the UKmarker clothing sector) this "own brand" may be able to compete against even the strongest brand leaders, and may outperform those products that are not otherwise strongly branded.another example,TESCO, A very famous huge chain retailer in UK and consider as market leader has its own private labels on some of the products which compete the others products and enjoy even more quality.

History

The word "brand" is derived from the Old Norse brandr, meaning "to burn." It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products.

Although connected with the history of trademarks and including earlier examples which could be deemed "protobrands" (such as the marketing puns of the "Vesuvinum" wine jars found at Pompeiimarker), brands in the field of mass-marketing originated in the 19th century with the advent of packaged goods. Industrialization moved the production of many household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. When shipping their items, the factories would literally brand their logo or insignia on the barrels used, extending the meaning of "brand" to that of trademark.

Bass & Company, the Britishmarker brewery, claims their red triangle brand was the world's first trademark. Lyle’s Golden Syrup makes a similar claim, having been named as Britain's oldest brand, with its green and gold packaging having remained almost unchanged since 1885.

Cattle were branded long before this; the term "maverick", originally meaning an unbranded calf, comes from Texasmarker rancher Samuel Augustus Maverick who, following the American Civil War, decided that since all other cattle were branded, his would be identified by having no markings at all.

Factories established during the Industrial Revolution, generating mass-produced goods and needed to sell their products to a wider market, to a customer base familiar only with local goods. It quickly became apparent that a generic package of soap had difficulty competing with familiar, local products. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince the market that the public could place just as much trust in the non-local product. Campbell soup, Coca-Cola, Juicy Fruit gum, Aunt Jemima, and Quaker Oats were among the first products to be 'branded', in an effort to increase the consumer's familiarity with their products. Many brands of that era, such as Uncle Ben's rice and Kellogg's breakfast cereal furnish illustrations of the problem.

Around 1900, James Walter Thompson published a house ad explaining trademark advertising. This was an early commercial explanation of what we now know as branding. Companies soon adopted slogans, mascots, and jingles which began to appear on radio and early television. By the 1940s, manufacturers began to recognize the way in which consumers were developing relationships with their brands in a social/psychological/anthropological sense.

From there, manufacturers quickly learned to build their brand's identity and personality (see brand identity and brand personality), such as youthfulness, fun or luxury. This began the practice we now know as "branding" today, where the consumers buy "the brand" instead of the product. This trend continued to the 1980s, and is now quantified in concepts such as brand value and brand equity. Naomi Klein has described this development as "brand equity mania". In 1988, for example, Philip Morris purchased Kraft for six times what the company was worth on paper; it was felt that what they really purchased was its brand name.

Marlboro Friday:April 2, 1993 - marked by some as the death of the brand - the day Philip Morris declared that they were to cut the price of Marlboro cigarettes by 20%, in order to compete with bargain cigarettes. Marlboro cigarettes were notorious at the time for their heavy advertising campaigns, and well-nuanced brand image. In response to the announcement Wall streetmarker stocks nose-dived for a large number of 'branded' companies: Heinz, Coca Cola, Quaker Oats, PepsiCo. Many thought the event signalled the beginning of a trend towards "brand blindness" (Klein 13), questioning the power of "brand value".

See also



References

  1. Aaker, David. Managing Brand Equity. (1991)
  2. Brand Identity - Definition of Brand Identity
  3. What's in a Brand Name?
  4. Wordpress.com
  5. Diller S., Shedroff N., and Rhea D (2006) Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences. New Riders, Berkeley, CA,
  6. Kunde, J., (2002) Unique Now... or Never: the Brand Is the Company Driver in the New Value Economy, Financial Times/Prentice Hall. London
  7. Paul S. Richardson, Alan S. Dick and Arun K. Jain "Extrinsic and Intrinsic Cue Effects on Perceptions of Store Brand Quality", Journal of Marketing October 1994 pp. 28-36
  8. Klein, Naomi (2000) No logo, Canada: Random House, ISBN 0-676-97282-9
  9. Muji brand strategy, Muji branding, no name brand - VentureRepublic
  10. Matt Heig, Brand Royalty: How the World's Top 100 Brands Thrive and Survive, pg.216
  11. Trenmatter.com
  12. http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/534969/Mark-Ritson-branding-Norse-fire-smokes-bland-brands/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH
  13. (U.S.) Trademark History Timeline
  14. Jstor.org
  15. Mildred Pierce, Newmediagroup.co.uk


Bibliography

  • Birkin, Michael (1994). "Assessing Brand Value," in Brand Power. ISBN 0-8147-7965-4
  • Gregory, James (2003). Best of Branding. ISBN 0-07-140329-9
  • Klein, Naomi (2000) No logo, Canada: Random House, ISBN 0-676-97282-9
  • Fan, Y. (2002) “The National Image of Global Brands”, Journal of Brand Management, 9:3, 180-192, available at http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/1289
  • Kotler, Philip and Pfoertsch, Waldemar (2006). B2B Brand Management, ISBN 3-540-25360-2.
  • Miller & Muir (2004). The Business of Brands, ISBN 0-470-86259-9.
  • Olins, Wally (2003). On Brand, London: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0-500-51145-4.
  • Schmidt, Klaus and Chris Ludlow (2002). Inclusive Branding: The Why and How of a Holistic approach to Brands. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-98079-4
  • Wernick, Andrew (1991). Promotional Culture: Advertising, Ideology and Symbolic Expression (Theory, Culture & Society S.), London: Sage Publications, ISBN 0-8039-8390-5
  • Holt, DB (2004). "How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding" Harvard University Press, Harvard MA


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