A brand is the identity of a product, service or business. A brand can take many forms including a name, slogan, sign, symbol and color combination. A legally protected brand name is called a Trademark. Branding has evolved to encompass identity; it reflects the personality of a service, company or product.
A concept brand is a brand that is associated with an abstract concept like breast cancer awareness rather than a service or business. A commodity brand is a brand associated with a commodity. An example of a commodity brand is “Got Milk?”
Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of brand association with feelings, thoughts, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes and so on, that become linked to the brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all the 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 the product, service or company.
Brand experience is creating the impression that a brand associated with a service or product 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. Brand management’s job is to make the service relevant to the target audience. Great branding allows the product or service to be seen as more than the difference between the cost and the selling price. They represent the sum of all valuable qualities to the customer.
There are many intangibles involved in how a business is perceived. The learned skill of a knowledgeable employee, experience, design, color, looks, quality, speed and taste, all may be the difference the company wants to find and keep that make it incomparable to others.
A brand which is widely known is called brand awareness. When brand recognition builds up to a point of critical mass, it’s called a brand franchise. One goal in recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company. Branding is a key component of value added, also called brand promise. Branded products achieve higher prices.
Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience to purchase. It includes the name of the service or product and how it will benefit them. Effective advertising generates incentives to consumers in large numbers to convince them to take action. Professional advertisers seek to generate increased consumption of services or products through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or name in an effort to relate the qualities with the brand in the minds of the consumer.
Different types of media can be used to deliver brand messages, including outbound methods such as TV, radio, outdoor, direct mail, or inbound methods such as websites, blogs, social media or text messages.
Market Research gathers information about markets, consumers and segments.
New forms of advertising include:
Crowd Sourcing: Creating user generated ads
Internet: Pop-ups, banners, emails, YouTube videos, and entertaining ads
Niche Markets: Targeted ads and long tail, customer profiles, tracking, and video on demand
Consumers seek out and select services and products they feel they need. Consumers seek out specific organizations they believe have the best combination of unique characteristics, skills, knowledge and attitudes to fulfill their specific needs better than others.
The purpose of brand management is to identify those key characteristics the consumer feels are most important, align them to expectations and create communications, messages, logos, content and colors that bring it all together into media such as signage, TV, brochures, the internet and social media. The process of repetition in media and measurement creates increased awareness and increased consumer demand for that organization.
Therefore the creation of USP and Branding is one of the most important actions an organization can make to increase its value.
Holt Marketing has creative, technical and management people with over 25 years experience in the business of creating marketing and branding systems that are effective and measurable. Holt has increased customer preference for our clients.