What is a Brand?
A brand is a perceived value of the people about a product, service, company, or individual that makes them different from one another. It is not simply a name, term, symbol, or design of the product that differentiates from one seller to another or a company to another, it is much more than that such as special feeling, emotion, impression, benefit, attribute, etc.
In order words, a brand can be defined as a promise, every brand is dedicated to fulfilling some promises, whenever you see an icon or symbol of a product or service, there you see some implied or overt promise. The promise of brands may be in terms of quality, good health, durability, performance, excellence, design, etc.
A brand makes a company or a seller or a manufacturer unique in the market. Whenever we think about a big brand in technology, we might think about Apple Technology Company – what impression or uniqueness it gives you, maybe an innovative idea, quality smartphone (iPhone), etc.
A brand is part of the product. In the market, most sellers or manufacturers use brand names to differentiate their products. Usually, when we talk about a brand, we generally mean the name of the particular product.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of giving a name or symbol or meaning to the organization, company, products, or services to act being consistent with such name or symbol.
In simple words, branding is the strategy to create the image or value of the brand in the market.
Branding helps people to identify a particular company or prodcut so that people can quickly differentiate a brand name, experience brands promise, make them able to for what reason they trust particular brands, and for what reasons they ignore other companies’ brands, and it helps to make them remember.
To be more clear, a brand distinguishes one seller’s product or service from those of rivals. A “brand name” consists of words, letters, and/ or numbers that can be vocalized. A “brand mark” is a component of the brand that resembles the form of a symbol, design, distinctive coloring, or lettering. It can be seen by sight but is not displayed when a particular individual asserts the brand name.
A “trademark” is a brand that it gave constitutional security under the law. Thus trademark is primarily a legal term. All trademarks are brands and thus include the words, letters, or numbers that can be said, whereas, branding is an act of giving a name, symbol, logo, or mark to a product.
Objectives and Reasons For Branding
The brand is the inherent part of the company’s prodcut or service however some firms do not brand their products where others do. The reasons some firms do not brand their products or services are:
- They are unable to maintain the quality of the product or service.
- They cannot fulfill the basic responsibilities to maintain their brand names.
- Some products are of such nature that it becomes difficult to differentiate one’s products from those of competitors such as industrial raw materials.
On the other hand, most of the firms go on to use their product’s brand names for the reasons mentioned below:
- To separate a firm’s products or services from those of competitors.
- To make shopping convenient.
- Brands refer prestige to the manufacturers, and sellers, and also give prestige to the consumers when they buy and use popular brands.
- To legally protect the company.
- Strong brands generate more referrals.
- A brand represents a promise.
- Helps people to identify what to expect and what not from particular brands.
- To identify the exact market for their products.
- To assure regular satisfaction to the customers.
- To maintain the constant quality of the products and thus win the confidence of the target market, because a brand may a symbol of quality.
- To reduce price comparisons because it is hard to compare prices on two items with different brands.
Features of a Product’s Brand (Requirements)
The right product must have a product brand. A product’s brand name should pose the following characteristics:
- It should suggest something about the product’s characteristics: such as benefits, durability, design, quality, style, or a combination of all.
- It should be easy to pronounce, recognize, and remember: a product’s brand name should be short and simple so that the customers may be able to pronounce it easily, recognize and remember. For example, Star, Sony, Bata, Honda, Apple, Ram, etc.
- It should be distinctive: For example National, Star, Sony, Honda, Ford, Fiat, etc.
- It should be adaptable to new products that may be added to the product line – such as Star Beer, Star Orange, Star Lemon, google drive, google car, etc.
- It should be capable of being registered under the law i.e., the brand name of the product should not be duplicated; it should be original so that it can be registered under the concerned law or Act.
- It should be suitable for the international market also: no company wants to insist on the domestic market alone, each company will be taking a great interest in entering the international market. So whatever brand name is used in the domestic market should be suitable for the international market also. It will be inconvenient and expensive for the marketer to market his products in foreign markets if the brand name has to be changed.
Types of Brand
Brands can be classified on the basis of two facts – the basis of ownership of the products and the product line.
On the Basis of Ownership of the Products
Manufacturer Brands: Here, the name of the products is given by the name of the manufacturer. Manufacturers’ brands are usually used when the manufacturer’s image is strong in the market. In such types of brands, manufacturers have to invest more in advertising and promotional activities. For example, Pepsi, Timberland, Trek, Samsung, Dell, LG, etc.
Distributor Brands: Here, while distributing the products the name of distributors or dealers are used. Distributors brands are usually used when the distributors have a strong image in the market than the manufacturer. For example, Amazon.com, Sears, etc.
The general trend is that most of the customers of the domestic markets, as well as international markets, heavily trust manufacturer brands because of the quality assurance. However, sometimes it becomes difficult for the manufacturers to sell products efficiently with manufacturer brands. In such a situation, manufacturers initiate distributors to use their brands for sales expansion.
For example, the original name of ” Volkswagen car” is “Golf”. “Golf” is popular only in Europe but fails in Asia and other parts of the world. Therefore, in order to distribute these vehicles outside Europe, the product used “private brand” i.e., “Volkswagen”, which is popular worldwide now. Similarly, “Mitsubishi” was an unknown factor in automobiles. By marketing under the “Chrysler” brand (when Chrysler was strong) they were able to get more quickly and firmly established in the U. S. market. Hence, when private brands become necessary to use in different markets a marketer can use multiple brands.
On the Basis of Product-Line
Individual Brands: When a company uses a separate brand name for each prodcut of the product line, called individual brands. For example, Surya Tobacco Company has its different cigarette lines and has adopted individual brandings such as Surya classic, shikar filter kings, Surya light, Surya, Shikhar, etc. each of the products brands indicates distinct quality and taste.
Family Brands: Instead of separating brands for each prodcut of its line if a single brand is used for a particular prodcut line is called a family brand. For example, Dabur has many products under the family brand like Dabur Honey, Dabur Toothpaste, Dabur Chyawanprash, etc. in each prodcut family name “Dabur” is used, so its family brand.
Importance of Branding
Important of branding can be studied from the consumers, marketers, and societies’ points of view. However, it can be summarized as follows:
- Brands may be means of better
- It permits the freedom of choice
- It assures regular satisfaction
- It may satisfy the status need
- It provides adequate information
- It legally protects the interest of the company
- It helps to identify market segments
- It helps to build a corporate image
- It may help mass production and lower the production cost
- It acts as a guide to the quality
- It assures social interests through the protection of trademarks.