Definition of Brand - Brand and Branding Strategy - Benefits of a Brand -
Brands and Branding
No discussion of marketing is complete without some discussion of branding.
Today's modern concept of branding grew out of the consumer packaged goods industry and the process of branding has come to include much more than just creating a way to identify a product or company. Branding is used to create emotional attachment to products and companies. Branding efforts create a feeling of involvement, a sense of higher quality, and an aura of intangible qualities that surround the brand name, mark, or symbol.
Successful branding efforts build strategic awareness where people not only recognize your brand, but they also understand the distinctive qualities that make it better than the competition. Branding is more important today than ever due to ever-increasing advertising clutter, media fragmentation, the commoditization of products, and the seemingly limitless choices we are offered in just about every product category. As marketers, we need to work hard to ensure that we are offering our customers strong brands that are clearly differentiated and that offer clear, real value and unique benefits. The need for branding has never been greater.
Here are just a few benefits you will enjoy when you create a strong brand:
- A strong brand influences the buying decision and shapes the ownership experience.
- Branding creates trust and an emotional attachment to your product or company. This attachment then causes your market to make decisions based, at least in part, upon emotion-- not necessarily just for logical or intellectual reasons.
- A strong brand can command a premium price and maximize the number of units that can be sold at that premium.
- Branding helps make purchasing decisions easier. In this way, branding delivers a very important benefit. In a commodity market where features and benefits are virtually indistinguishable, a strong brand will help your customers trust you and create a set of expectations about your products without even knowing the specifics of product features.
- Branding will help you "fence off" your customers from the competition and protect your market share while building mind share. Once you have mind share, you customers will automatically think of you first when they think of your product category.
- A strong brand can make actual product features virtually insignificant. A solid branding strategy communicates a strong, consistent message about the value of your company. A strong brand helps you sell value and the intangibles that surround your products.
- A strong brand signals that you want to build customer loyalty, not just sell product. A strong branding campaign will also signal that you are serious about marketing and that you intend to be around for a while. A brand impresses your firm's identity upon potential customers, not necessarily to capture an immediate sale but rather to build a lasting impression of you and your products.
- Branding builds name recognition for your company or product.
- A brand will help you articulate your company's values and explain why you are competing in your market.
I believe that just about anything can be branded, including what many consider commodity products. How to Brand and Market A Commodity
I've created brands for many things, tangible and intangible. In fact, here in early 2018 I'm in the middle of a multi-year research project to demonstrate how just about anything can be branded. I've been approached by several amateur and professional athletes asking me for help on branding themselves as athletes (personal branding) and I hope to be able to share my research with you soon. The question they often come to me with is, "How do I brand myself as an athelete?"
The answer is actually fascinating.
It can be done.
You just need to identify the unqiue promise of value you can deliver.
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