Complete short and study notes on branding prepared for B.Com, M.Com, MBA and various competitive examination.
In this article we will discuss about branding of product or services! Learn about:- 1. Short notes Meaning of Brand 2. Notes on the Importance of Branding 3. Creation of Brands 4. Brand Fundamentals Simplified 5. Types of Brands 6. Brand Name7. Brand Myths 8. Reasons for Branding 9. Essentials of a Good Brand 10. Branding Approaches 11. Notes on the Benefits of Branding to Consumers and Companies 12. Brand Relationships and Other Details. This article will also help you to learn about:1. Branding Notes For Mba 2. Short Note On Branding 3. Types Of Branding 4. Brand Management Pdf Notes For Mba 5. Features Of Branding 6. Brand Management Lecture Notes 7. What Is Branding In Marketing 8. Branding In Marketing Management.
Notes on Branding for Marketing Students
- Notes on the Meaning of Brand
- Notes on the Importance of Branding
- Notes on Creation of Brands
- Notes on Brand Fundamentals Simplified
- Notes on Types of Brands
- Notes on Brand Name
- Notes on Brand Myths
- Notes on Reasons for Branding
- Notes on Essentials of a Good Brand
- Notes on Branding Approaches
- Notes on Benefits of Branding to Consumers and Companies
- Notes on Brand Relationships
- Notes on Brand Management
- Notes on the Brand Future in India
- Notes on Advantages of Branding
- Notes on Disadvantages of Branding
Notes on Branding: Study Notes for B.Com, M.Com ,MBA Students and Marketing Students
Notes on Branding # Meaning of Brand:
Initially, a brand is a unique name, logo, design, symbol, words, slogan or a combination of all these, used to create an image in the customer’s mind that identifies the product or service and differentiates it from its competitors. As time passes, the image becomes associated with a level of quality, satisfaction, credibility in the customer’s mind. Branding is a process of creating and communicating a brand identity.
Every brand has an association in the mind of the customer. That association may be positive or negative. It is an emotional association. The customer loves some brands, hates some and is neutral, undecided or indifferent towards some brands. For any product or service, as soon as a brand’s name comes in front of the customer, an emotional reaction also gets created. This emotional reaction is the result of the relationship the brand has with the customer.
In some ways, a brand is just like a person. When a person is born, he gets a body, a name, a shape, a size and a color. At that time, he is only a bundle of promises and hopes. As the time passes, whether those hopes or promises are fulfilled or not decides his image in the outside world.
Similarly, when a brand is introduced to the market, it generates some hopes and promises in the minds of the customers. If it fulfills those promises made to the customers consistently, it becomes fixed in their minds. On the other hand, if it fails to live up to the hype that it created, it gets lost into oblivion.
A brand does not exist only on our product’s packaging or on our web site or on our signboards. It exists in our customers’ minds. A brand is a promise; either fulfilled or unfulfilled.
Notes on Branding # 2. Importance of Branding:
Today’s marketplace is highly cluttered. For any product or service there are innumerable options available. Customers are spoiled for choices. Every day, hundreds or thousands of brand messages hit a customer’s mind, seeking her attention. This all clutter has created a lot of confusion in the customer’s mind.
Amidst the clutter of products with similar quality and benefits, branding helps a customer find the right product for her taste and needs. The unique benefits and value that a brand promises distinctly separate one brand from the other brands in the customer’s mind, making it easier for her to make a choice.
Branding contributes to building a bond between the customer and the product or service. In the long term, this helps in creating a huge loyal customer base. Branding enables a customer make comparative analysis of the products on offer, reducing the risk of making a wrong choice. With the right branding efforts, brands can leverage their popularity in one geography and tap newer markets across geographical boundaries in today’s globalized markets, where communication is already global and instantly available.
Branding makes it possible for the company to position its products or services at the right place in the market and earn the right price for its products or services. New customers are entering the market due to natural, life stage changes. Branding makes it easier to communicate the benefits and value of our product to them. Branding motivates a company to build its portfolio of products, each new one getting a benefit of the reputation of the old ones.
Notes on Branding # 3. Creation of Brands:
Brands are created in the customers’ minds. For every product or service that she needs, the customer has a place, a position or an invisible slot in her mind. Generally, that slot is occupied by one or more brands. With each brand, the customer has a relationship. Generally, the depth of that relationship is based on the level of trust that the brand has developed in her mind.
The relationship between the brand and the customer starts when the customer chooses the brand for the first time, with a hope that the brand will truly perform as per the promises it has made. If the brand performs as per the promises, customer will have a positive experience and trust will begin to develop.
If the brand continues to perform as per its promise, the trust deepens and the relationship becomes stronger. In that case, the customer does not let any other brand take that position. As the number of such strongly connected, loyal customers’ increases, the brand becomes more and more formidable.
If, on the other hand, the performance of the brand does not match the promises it made, the customer may choose the brand for some time until some other alternative is available. As soon as a new alternative is found, the customer will switch to the other brand. So, brand building is based on the level to which the customer’s experiences match the promises the brand makes.
Notes on Branding # 4. Brand Fundamentals Simplified: (for MBA students)
1. Brand Promise:
At the very basic level, a brand is a promise to the customer. The customer buys a brand in the hope that she will get something out of it. This promise is not limited to the material or tangible benefits she will derive. It also includes the emotions that the customer experiences while buying, owning or using the product or service.
E.g. A girl buying a fairness cream is not buying only the cream. She dreams of becoming more beautiful, more confident after using that cream. Beauty, attractiveness and self-confidence are some of the promises most of such personal care brands make.
Sometimes, our customers can help us understand our own brand’s promise. For this, we must find out why our customers buy our products. Observing them can give us an insight into our real brand promise.
2. Brand Perception:
Brands are built or broken by customers, not companies. The key to a brand’s fate is its perception in the customers’ minds. We may believe that our brand promises something. Our brand promise doesn’t matter if the customer doesn’t perceive our brand as a tool to fulfill that promise.
E.g. almost every new residential real estate project promises a lot of facilities, amenities, convenience, lifestyle advantages, payment flexibility etc. They project their houses as “Dream Homes” for the prospective buyers. But in spite of all these, if the past record of that developer presenting the project is bad, if their reputation is tarnished due to unpleasant experiences of the customers, the new project will not get desired response.
The customers won’t believe the glossy promise of a “Dream Home”. Whatever the brand promises, if the realities on the ground are not matching, the buyers won’t trust the brand, because of the negative perception about the brand.
The perception can’t be created by advertisements or brand ambassadors. Only actual performance can do it. To build positive perception, ensure that the performance is better than the promise. Excel customer expectations. Make the customer experience pleasant.
3. Brand Expectations:
Based on our brand promise, consumers develop expectations from our brand.
They buy our product in a hope that the brand will really fulfill the promise. If the brand fails to live up to the expectation, the customer gets confused and goes in search of another brand that may meet her expectations.
E.g. when a superstar’s new film is going to be released, it creates a lot of hype. The viewers, who have enjoyed being entertained by his earlier movies, go to the new film with a hope of having another similarly enjoyable experience. But, if the new film disappoints, the customer get confused. She may not go to watch his next film till positive popular reviews and box-office responses are not received by the newer film.
Similarly, if the girl buying a fairness cream realizes that her skin did not change much even after three-four months of regular application, she will lose trust in that brand. She will stop buying the brand and will tell others not to be fooled by the tall claims of the brand.
Our brand must promise only what it can deliver. Raising the customers’ expectations and then failing to fulfill them kills the brand, may be slowly, but surely.
4. Brand Personality:
A brand can be compared to a human being in more than one ways. Just like a person has a lifespan and life stages, a brand also passes through similar phases. Every brand also has its own personality, just like humans. A brand’s personality is a set of human characteristics that can be attributed to the brand. The characteristics make the brand unique; they give the brand a distinct personality.
To build that personality, the brand must perform consistently to embody these characteristics. A brand personality is something which the target customers can relate to. Customers are more likely to purchase a brand if its personality is similar to their own. If the brand matches with the personality traits of the target customers, it succeeds in building strong bonds with them.
There are five main types of brand personalities:
iv. Competence and
Brands assume these traits, as per their intended objectives of connecting with the target audience.
Young, carefree and playful personalities seek excitement. Some brands offer excitement to those who want it.
a. Chocolates brands make you feel playful.
b. Cold drinks connect with those who are youthful and carefree.
c. A soda brand makes you ‘spirited’.
Brands speak to the qualities of responsibility and sincerity among people, by assuming sincerity in their personality.
a. Insurance brands help you appear thoughtful.
b. A bank tries to tell you that it is genuinely helpful to you, standing by you in all your financial needs.
c. Hand wash brands reflect the caring, family-oriented mindset of a mother.
d. A bottled water brand sells purity to appeal to a sincere person’s personality traits.
e. An NGO brand appeals to you to be kind by drawing your attention to the animals or the orphaned children.
Just like some of us, some brands are rugged, rough, tough, athletic, and outdoorsy. They portray these characteristics to be relevant to those among us who enjoy being rugged.
a. Children’s health drinks project athletic strength and stamina.
b. Travel sites, Cameras, Sports shoes appeal to people oriented towards outdoor activities.
c. SUV brands stand for the rough and tough.
Personal competence is a personality trait used by brands to communicate to their target customers.
a. A laptop brand portrays its user as successful.
b. Owning a latest high-end mobile phone brand highlights your accomplishment.
c. A paints brand informs to your neighbors that you are intelligent and influencer, a leader, because of the wisdom you exercise in making it your chosen paint.
Some brands try to win their customers by appealing to sophistication in their own personalities.
a. A formal shirt brand projects elegance.
b. A luxury car or airline brand sells prestige.
c. A women’s bag brand spells pretentiousness.
5. Brand Elements:
Brand promise, expectations, perceptions, personality etc. are the invisible aspects of a brand. They are there, but nobody can ‘see’ them. They are the character of the brand, intrinsically woven within the brand, but not visible outside.
The tangibles such as its logo, tag line, slogans, messages, packaging, characters, sounds, jingles etc. represent the visual or audible parts of the brand. These are called the elements of the brand. All these elements work together to express the brand in its totality.
These elements also help in:
i. Communicating the brand’s promise.
ii. Shaping the perceptions about the brand.
iii. Provide the proof of fulfillment of the brand’s expectations.
iv. Define the brand’s personality.
They must be designed in such a way as to work in unison, perfectly complementing each other, representing the brand in all aspects.
Notes on Branding # 5. Types of Brands: (for B.com and M.Com Students)
1. Individual Brand Name:
Each product has a special and unique brand name, such as Ranipal, Surf, Chelpark ink, Ovaltine, Aspro, etc. The manufacturer has to promote each individual brand in the market separately. This creates a practical difficulty in promotion. Otherwise, it is the best marketing strategy (art or tactics).
2. Family Brand Name:
Family name is limited to one line of a product, i.e., products which complete the sales cycles, e.g.,’Mohuns’ for breakfast foods, ‘Amul’ for milk products, ‘Mapro’ for fruit squashes and syrups, ‘Erasmic’ for toiletry. ‘Lakme’ or ‘Ponds’ for cosmetics, etc. Family brand name can help combined advertising and sales promotion.
However, if one member of the family brand is rejected by consumers, the prestige of all other products under the family brand may be adversely affected. The manufacturers have to take extraordinary care to guard against this danger. This method of branding assumes that end-uses of all products under a family brand are similar and the products are not dissimilar.
If ‘Kissan’ food manufacturers manufacture tractors or agricultural machinery, they should not use the same ‘Kissan’ brand name for these goods. Similarly, products exclusively for men and those specially for women should not be sold under the same family brand name, as these two classes of customers who demand them are different. Family brand name enables creation of strong shelf-display. It helps to secure quick popularity. It is preferable to separate brands for each product.
3. Umbrella Brand:
We may have for all products the name of the company or the manufacturer. All products such as chemicals, textiles, engineering goods, etc., manufactured by the Tata Concerns will have the “Tata’s” as one umbrella brand. Such a device will also obtain low promotion cost and minimise marketing effort.
The pulling effect for all products will be considerable when the company’s name or the name of the business house is outstanding and shining in the market. However, a single bad experience in any one of the line of products, a solitary failure, may be very dangerous to the rest of the products sold by a particular business house under the umbrella brand.
4. Combination Device:
Tata house is using a combination device. Each product has an individual name but it also has the umbrella brand to indicate the business house producing the product, e.g., Tata Indica. Under this method, side by side with the product image, we have the image of the organisation also. Many companies use this device profitably.
5. Private or Middleman’s Brands:
Branding can be done by manufacturers or distributors such as wholesalers, large retailers. In India this practice is popular in the woollen, hosiery, sport goods, and such other industries. It helps small manufacturers who have to rely on the middleman for marketing. It is also used by big manufacturers. The manufacturer merely produces goods as per specifications and requirements of distributors and he need not worry about marketing.
Middlemen enjoy more freedom in pricing products sold under their own brands. They have more control over distribution. Manufacturers make both national and private or middleman brands. Brand label points out either the name of the manufacturer or the name of the distributor but not both. Consumer rarely knows who is the manufacturer of the private or dealer’s brand.
Notes on Branding # 6. Brand Name:
A good brand name should be easy to pronounce, easy to remember and easy to recognise. It should also be protected under trademark laws to gain the present and future advantage from the brand. It should also attract attention and may suggest product benefits or may suggest usage. Naming the brands has been quite an interesting process for different companies.
Following are the ways in which companies have given their brand names:
i. Acronym- A brand name is made of initials such as PVR, an acronym for Priya Village Road show, IDBI, ICICI, HDFC, IBM etc.
ii. Descriptive- A brand name may also describe a product benefit or function like Big Bazaar, Infosys, Shoppers Stop, Airbus, Sleepwell, Videocon etc.
iii. Founders’ names- Sometimes brand names are also based on their founders’ name like L&T, Disney, Ford, HP etc.
iv. Family names: In India, family surnames are quite popular with big names in business like Tata, Birla, Godrej etc.
v. Religious names- In India, sometimes a company may use a brand name based on the religious persona like Maruti (represents God Hanuman), Balaji Telefilms, Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision etc. On the global scale, many companies also use Greek gods and goddesses name in their brand name like Apollo, Nike etc.
vi. Neologisms- These brand names are completely made-up words like Wii, Kodak, and Exxon etc.
vii. Foreign word- Sometimes a foreign word is also used in a brand name like Volvo or Samsung
viii. Geography- Some brands are named in accordance with their regions and area like Champagne, Cisco, Fuji Film etc., in some cases, brand names have become so popular that it denotes the product category itself. This is called brandnomer. Bisleri, Xerox, Band-aid, Godrej (Almirah) are few examples of brandnomer.
Notes on Branding # 7. Brand Myths:
Brand Means Visible Elements:
This is based on the belief that to be successful, a brand must look impressive. So, we focus a lot on visual elements like logo, design, packaging etc. Of course, visual elements are important, but we should not make a mistake that only a logo, name, packaging or other visual elements make a brand and that if we focus on developing and communicating these visual elements, our brand will become popular.
Visual elements are like clothes to a person. Yes, clothes make a man, but clothes alone can’t make a man. His character should also match. The same applies to brands. The visual elements must match the brand’s personality, but these visuals alone cannot guarantee right branding on their own. We find many brands which have great visual representation, but are hollow in performance and reputation.
Copying a Famous Brand Will Make Ours a Hit Brand:
Some companies have a tendency of copying some famous brand by making their product, name, logo or packaging identical to the famous brand. Copying famous brands is counterproductive. The duplicates of film stars get a lot of beating, but get very less money. Lookalikes don’t command respect, neither in films nor in the market. By being a copy of something very successful, we unintentionally declare from the outset that we are inferior.
We are “second” grade. This creates an inferior image in the customer’s mind which remains forever. The customer never respects the duplicate as much as she respects the original.
Remember- By putting Mercedes logo on my ordinary car does not make it a Merc. By naming my son Sachin does not make him as talented as Sachin Tendulkar. By wearing a T-Shirt just like a film star or copying his hairstyle does not make me a star.
Similarly, by copying logo, name or packaging of a famous brand does not make my brand similar to that brand. Yes, it may give us some attention briefly, but finally that attention results into disrespect. Nobody respects copycats. Sachin Tendulkar became successful through a consistent performance throughout the years of his cricket career. It did not happen overnight.
In the same way, a brand has to perform consistently to earn its respect and position in the market. We should not make a mistake that by copying a successful brand’s visible elements our brand will become as successful as the one we are copying. Our brand cannot become famous by riding on the popularity of some famous one. Our brand has to win its own respect and place in the customers’ minds and hearts. Copying does not take us there. There is no such shortcut.
Being Known Is Branding:
A big gangster is famous. Very famous. Very much known. Is he liked? Is he respected? Yes, he is a brand, but is it a successful or respected one? Not at all. So, don’t put your advertising on every available cheap media. Be selective. Be strategic. Be associated with the right things. “Any publicity is a good publicity” maxim does not go true for branding. Meaningful visibility, at the right places, at the right moment, to the right people helps in branding.
Spending Money on Branding Will Create Our Brand:
Sometimes, companies spend a lot of money on advertising, events and other marketing promotion activities to build a brand. They make a lot of noise. Yes, making noise creates awareness. But, it will not create or change the perception of the brand. It will not change the image of the brand. A blot on a person’s character can’t be washed away if he gives full page advertisements in newspapers claiming to be clean.
He has to make fundamental changes in his conduct and behavior. If his conduct does not match his claim, his image will not change. Money should not be spent only on communicating about the brand, but it should also be spent in ensuring that the brand performs as per its promise. It must be spent to make sure that our customer gets the experience of our brand exactly in the way our brand claimed.
Once Created, the Brand Will Survive Forever:
Nothing in life is static. Change is the only constant. In today’s marketplace, customers’ lifestyle, tastes, preferences and buying habits are changing, competition is changing, technology is changing, and people’s attention span is changing. Moreover, generations are changing. Our product may have been a hit for a few decades, but every two decades, a new generation crops up.
To stay relevant with the changing times and market realities, the brand has to keep evolving. It has to keep reinventing itself. Brands that create a history today may become history tomorrow if they don’t stay alert and remain relevant and fresh in the customers’ minds.
Our Brand Is Created Naturally, So We Don’t Need to Worry About Branding:
Consistent product performance creates a very robust, loyal customer base. So, sometimes, customers may keep coming to us even if we have not even named our product yet. So, we may start thinking that we don’t need branding.
Okay, if we are happy and satisfied with the current customer base, we don’t need any conscious branding efforts. But, we must remember that the customer base will not remain the same forever. Gradually, the customer base shrinks naturally if new customers are not added regularly to it.
Customers’ life stages, their tastes, preferences and priorities change. New competitors keep entering the market, taking away some of our existing customers. Because of such reasons, some of our customers may stop being with us.
Also, on the other hand, new customers are entering the market. If we don’t proactively communicate to these new customers about the virtues of our brand, we may get only those new customers who come to us on their own or who came to know about us by word of mouth. If we have a winner product or service, and we wish to expand our customer base, conscious branding efforts are strongly advisable.
Some companies lament that their products are superior to the competitors’, but their customers don’t know this and due to that their sales is less than the competitor or that they are not able to charge as high as their competitor is charging. The real reason may be that we may have left it to chance by speaking nothing about our brand, whereas the competitor may have consciously built the brand with right communication and the product or service performance.
If we don’t tell the prospect customer about our product, she will assume and build her opinion about our offering based on whatever opinions or perceptions reach her through word of mouth. That prevents a huge opportunity for us to grow our brand rapidly.
So don’t let accidental or natural brand building keep your brand potential limited. See the part titled “Why Branding is Important?” to know more reasons for making conscious branding efforts.
1. In the days gone by, when the demand was greater than the supply, branding was not necessary. Earlier, people wanted a product, and, because not enough of it was available, they bought it. Now, when the supply is more than the demand, companies not only need to create customers, but also keep them; and to keep customers, one needs to create customer loyalty.
2. To create customer loyalty, one needs to project a personality of a brand to which the customer will be loyal. This personality is what is called a ‘brand.’
3. Ever-increasing competition and the need for differentiating the product.
4. Importance of packaging as a distinct marketing function. Branding and packaging go hand-in-hand.
5. Need for advertising and publicity. Branding alone enables advertising.
6. Development of consumer brand-consciousness and brand image in the mind of the customer.
7. Branding gives separate identity and easy recognition to the product and creates special consumer preference. The consumer enters the shop to demand and insist upon specific brand of the product. The dealer is merely a distributing agency of the branded product.
8. Branding constitutes the basis for successful activity of demand-creation. Brands such as Vim, Pears, Lifebuoy, Sunlight, Lux, and Colgate have such a great pulling power that the retail shops draw customer to their stores on the strength of these brands in India.
9. Right kind of brand advertising and personal selling provide ample information to the consumer about the branded products.
10. Branded goods have uniform and standardised quality as the owner of the registered brand is personally responsible to maintain the quality. There is no need of personal inspection and no danger of adulteration.
11. Rapid sales turnover assures fresher product due to frequent replacement of stock with the retailer.
12. There is considerable saving in time in the selection of goods and also in the making up of orders. The consumer demands the product by quoting the special brand name, e.g., Arrow shirts, Brooke Bond Tea. Retailer is saved from the botheration of separate weighing, measuring, packing, etc. He merely displays the brands and takes money acting only as a distributing agent.
Brand name selection is a very critical issue for new products, more so for global brands. Right brand name gets you through more than one-fourth work required for management of a successful brand.
1. A brand should suggest something about a product’s benefits — its use, quality, product’s nature, purpose, performance or action, e.g., Frigidaire, Lijjat Papad, Tiger locks, Vico Vajradanti, Snowcem.
2. The name should be short, simple and easy to pronounce, spell and remember, easy to identify and explain. It should lend itself to visual interpretation.
3. It should be capable of being registered and protected legally under the legislation.
4. It should have a stable life and be unaffected by time. It should not depend upon fashions and styles as they have a short life.
5. It should create pleasant associations.
6. It should not be used as a general or common name for all products. Examples of brand names which have become general names are linoleum, aspirin, cellophane, kerosene, bandaid, nylon, dalda, kodak, Eveready. These were originally brand names but now they have become public names for the products.
7. It should be unique, attractive and distinctive, e.g., Sunlight, Clowhite, Quink, Tinopal, Maggie, Boost, Cold Flake, etc.
Notes on Branding # 10. Branding Approaches:
There are different branding approaches behind the successful brands.
Following are the approaches, in which the companies have branded their products:
a. Individual Name:
In FMCG products, individual names are very popular. In this approach, each brand has a separate name. But the drawback of this approach is that the brands may compete against one another, as it happens in the case of HUL products like Lux, Lifebuoy, Hamam, Liril, Breeze, Pears, Dove and Rexona.
b. Company Name:
Company branding is very popular in India. Right from Tata to Reliance to Godrej uses their family brand name in all their products and services. In the automobile industry also, Tata, Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Ford etc are used with their product names to market their vehicles. In FMCG category also, Dabur, Cadbury, Nestle etc. use their company name in the product lineup.
c. Derived Brands:
In some cases, the supplier of a major component of the end product promotes its product through a brand name to gain competitive advantage. Intel is an excellent example, which supplies the heart of the computer i.e, Microprocessor, with a sticker with slogan ‘Intel Inside.’
d. Multi Brands:
A company may resort to launching more brands in the same market with the probability of getting some extra market share for the company. Multi brands also benefit a company by enabling it to launch different brands for different sets of consumers.
That’s why HUL sells Surf Excel, Rin as well as Wheel detergent powder in India, while Procter and Gamble India (P&G) sells Ariel and Tide plus in India. In apparels, Levis has launched Denizen and Wrangler has launched Hero Wrangler to occupy the budget conscious consumers.
The only drawback in this strategy is cannibalization, where the new brand may take over the market share of the established brand. But it may be helpful for a company, if the net impact on the market share and revenues are in positive.
e. Private Labels:
With the growing clout of retailers in India, private labels are gaining the attention as well as the market share. Private labels are the retailer’s own brands, which sells in their retail stores like Tasty Treat food products and Sach endorsed by Sachin Tendulkar in Big Bazaar to Stop apparels in Shoppers Stop.
f. Individual and Organisational Brands:
Tom Peters has advocated personal branding that treat persons and their careers as brands. For example – Sachin Tendulkar, M. S. Dhoni, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai etc. Similarly an organisation can also be branded like a product.
g. Country Branding and Place Branding:
Country branding refers to a process in which a country claims a distinct positioning in the minds of its citizens and the global customers.
Any country that has a strong brand also benefits the products and services that come out of that country. The country, from which a company (product/service/brand) originates, has an effect on the company’s perceived quality and likeability in the minds of consumers – this is the country of origin effect (COO).
Swiss watches, French wine, Danish designs, Thai hospitality, Italian fashion, the 100% pure New Zealand are some of the well-known examples. Similarly places like Champagne, popular for specific quality of wine exclusively produced in Champagne region in France, Aligarh in India for locks have its own branding.
Notes on Branding # 11. Benefits of Branding to Consumers and Companies:
Branding provides a lot of benefits to the consumers as well as companies.
Consumers are benefited in the following ways:
i. Brand helps identify the product and the company that consumers like or dislike.
ii. Brand helps consumers in reducing their purchasing time
iii. Brand helps reduce consumer’s perceived risk of purchase
iv. Incase of difficulty regarding assessing quality of the products, brand helps consumer believe in the product.
v. Consumers derive psychological reward and pleasure from owning the brand, as it may happen with your Aston Martin Car or Rolex Watch or Gucci handbags and shoes.
Companies are benefited in the following ways:
i. Brand helps the companies differentiate their product from competitors’ product.
ii. Brand helps companies in getting repeat orders from the customers.
iii. Brand helps companies in their price defense against competition. Sometimes, companies also enjoy price premiums on the basis of their brand image.
iv. Brand helps a company in introducing a new product in the same name. In turn it helps the company with a lesser cost of advertising and promotions.
v. Brand attracts partners be it supplier, banker or an advertising agency
vi. Brand brings loyal consumers to the company. In turn, it brings sustained revenue and market share for the company.
Our proposition is that a four-Quadrant matrix is the simplest way of illustrating the types of relationships involved, and that the defining factors are the nature of the business relationship – whether close or distant – and the linkage between the brands, which is either strong or weak. The close brands are those owned by the companies and distant brands are either shadow endorsed or independent brands that are not connected with the mother brands.
We ignore gradations on the scales, for the sake of simplicity. Another defines business relationship in the table as the formality and extent of control of one organization. Brand linkage is defined as the linkage made by customers between the brands involved. The consumers’ attitude towards the brands contributes significantly in the brand relationship of the products and services of house of brands. The relationship of brands may be assessed within the company or of the co-brands.
The brand linkage may be understood as brand scale in reference to the performance of the brands of the own company or co-brands of any alliance. The brand interaction may be defined as preferences and attributes of the brands across the categories that exist in the company or actively available in the market.
Transaction, quadrant I refers to the strong brand linkage and close business relationship. In this case strong formal control is exerted, often through ownership. Interaction is often supervisory in nature. The supervisory and advisory form of relationship (quadrant II) refers strong brand linkage and distant business relationship. Here control is informal and weaker than when the business relationship is close. Interaction is often advisory, for example, manufacturers provision of a merchandising service to a retailer.
The interactive and cooperative brand environment may be explained at the quadrant III of the matrix in terms of weak brand linkage and close business relationship. In this category the control is strong, either formal or informal, but the linkage between the brands is weak. Interaction between the businesses is cooperative, for example joint management seminars and information sharing.
The weak brand linkage and distant business relationship is explained in the quadrant IV of the matrix. In this case the control and interaction are according to market conditions only. Such interaction tends to be transactional, for example sales calls by employees of one business to another and alliances.
Any unrelated organizations can provide examples of this relationship, or lack of it, such as health care and credit cards – although bonus loyalty points can be a potential link, as can sponsorship deals that do not result in any great publicity (as opposed to sponsorships that include naming rights, for example, which fall into Quadrant II).
Brands influence consumer decisions to buy in any of the above ways, or through combinations of them, sometimes with tremendous persuasive appeal. The Marlboro brand personality is a good example of how a company understands and combines the physical and emotional elements that appeal to certain customers who live or would love to live a certain lifestyle. Products such as gold credit cards, watches or prestige items help people to express themselves to others by demonstrating that they are different and have achieved something.
They act as extensions of the personality, so it really is “all in the mind”, and the key to brand management and development is a clear understanding of what benefits the customer is looking for. Finding with consumers what comes to mind when they hear the name of a big brand such as BMW or Gucci and they will reply with a list of attributes that go far beyond the physical tangible aspects of product and delivery, but if there is one word that brings all these things together in people’s mind, it is value.
Time and again, research shows that the real driving force behind market leadership is perceived value – not price or inherent product attributes. As long as a brand offers customers a superior perceived value, the good market performance will follow, which makes consistency a highly important feature of brand behavior.
Brands are also successful because people prefer them to ordinary products. Brands give consumers the means whereby they can make choices and judgments. Based on these experiences, customers can then rely on chosen brands to guarantee standards of quality and service, which reduces the risk of failure in purchase.
Today’s world is characterized by more complex technology, and this can be extremely confusing to the people who are not technology minded. Brands can play an important role here by providing simplicity and reassurance to the uninitiated, offering a quick, clear guide to a variety of competitive products and helping consumers reach better, and quicker decisions.
Notes on Branding # 13. Brand Management:
Application of the marketing techniques to a specific product or a brand is called brand management. It enhances the product’s perceived value to the minds of the consumers. The brand acts as an implied promise that the level of quality of product or service is going to remain the same for their future purchases.
For example, once you walk in to a PVR, you know as to what kind of service you can expect in the multiplex, what kind of seats you will get. The kind of service remains the same all across India in their different multiplexes. On the one hand consistency in a product or service helps the consumers to become loyal for the company. On the other hand, a company can also charge premium for their product or service, with respect to their competition.
The discipline of brand management is almost 80 years old. It started in 1931 at Procter & Gamble PLC based on the famous memo written by Neil H. McElory. The memo was written by Neil for the additional manpower required for his brand team for Camay. He was of the view that all the brands require a concentrated effort, as if it were a separate business. In this way the different brands would be distinguished from others. This memo has such an impact on the marketing and brand management per se, that it is still widely emulated by many FMCG and other companies all across the world.
The brand is a proprietary name which has three important legs- (1) Brand equity which is the intrinsic value or worth of the brand, in terms of the kind of money a consumer is willing to pay for it in preference to its rivals. (2) Brand image/values in the consumer’s mind-set, which are beneficial to the purchase of the brand. (3) Brand franchise, which measures the on-going relationship between the brand and its consumers in terms of actual purchase. It is important to nurture, develop, care for, and strengthen these three aspects of the brand on an on-going basis if the brand is to last several lifetimes.
The ever-increasing number of consumers, who are making India and many other developing countries the faster-growing markets, want brands, not anonymous products. The branding phenomenon has taken the Indian market by storm. Many non-branded products like water, salt, essentials like pulses, rice and wheat flour have begun taking the branding route and have joined the “brandwagon”. Examples- Tata Salt, Ashirwad Atta, Bisleri, etc.
Indian consumers are living in an age of brands. In 1980, there were hardly 10 to 12 brands of bathing soaps. Today, we have over 50 brands. Brand has become a vital tool and the most important element of the total product personality. Launching a brand name in India today costs about Rs.15 crores or more.
Notes on Branding # 15. Advantages of Branding:
1. The marketer can build up a bright image of his organisation around the brand. It enables national advertisement of a specific product and it is pre-sold through advertising.
2. Branded product can be easily recognised by the customer in the retail shop. It offers protection to the consumer as it identifies the firm behind the product.
3. Branding enables the firm to have control over the market. Repeat sales are stimulated and product substitution is not possible. It creates an exclusive market for the product.
4. When brands are successfully and effectively promoted, the very existence of the middleman depends upon a continued supply of each brand.
5. Branding by differentiating a product from its rivals enables the brand-owner to establish his own price which cannot be easily compared with prices for competing goods. Branding also reduces price flexibility. Price rigidity, however, may not be socially desirable. Of course, price competition is never completely eliminated.
6. If a firm has one or more lines of branded goods, it can add a new item to its list easily and the new item can enjoy all the advantages of branding immediately.
Notes on Branding # 16. Disadvantages of Branding:
1. Consumers while buying pre-packed branded goods use the following guidelines to measure quality in relation to price- (a) tips from friend, (b) advertising, (c) slogans, (d) brands and trademarks, (e) labels, and (f) comments from salesman. Generally, price is used as a measure of quality. There is a firm belief in the minds of many consumers that high price is an indication of quality. The sellers fully capitalise this consumer belief.
2. Lack of confidence and lack of precise knowledge compel consumers to rely heavily on the familiar, heavily advertised, and generally high-priced branded goods.
3. Repetitive advertisement tells consumers that advertised brands assure high quality, but consumers are rarely given facts and figures or factual evidence to prove higher quality. Price is no reliable indication of quality.
4. Comparative testing conducted by consumer organisations has led to the conclusion that there is no dependable correlation among brand, price and quality.
5. Though the goods sold under the manufacturer’s brand and dealer’s brand are produced by one producer in the same factory, the price spread between these two brands is quite appreciable. Manufacturer’s brand is a national brand and it is heavily advertised, hence, sold at a higher price.
6. Branding process may be against public interest. It needs attractive packaging, heavy advertising and promotional expenditure. These raise the retail prices of branded goods even by 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
7. When goods are sold under a brand name, they appear to be different from each other even though basically they may not be really different. For example, detergents are sold at least under 10 to 15 brands. We are deceived into believing that each brand is unique from the other. Such a practice is wasteful. Consumers get similar experience in different brands of same product.
8. In Western countries due to numerous brands for similar products, at present, brand names are not dependable guides as to quality and performance and there is no close relationship between brand, quality, and price. To that extent, consumers cannot totally rely on branding as a sure guide of quality.
9. The variety and complexity of products create a practical difficulty for average consumer in choosing a product to satisfy his wants. Thus, consumer has become dependent on branding.
10. The manufacturers have taken full advantage of this dependency by spending crores of rupees on advertising to keep their brand names constantly before the consumer. Consumers buy Brand X because the advertisements tell them constantly to buy Brand X only and not any other brand.