Everything you need to know about brand marketing. Branding means to create a new brand

With the advent of packaging, brands originated in the 19th Century. But the idea of marking things, people or animals by burning identifying marks on them was an ancient practice.

That’s why the word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse brands which means ‘to burn’. It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products.

Branding helps the companies to stay ahead in the business than their competition. On the one hand, it helps the customers to differentiate between the different products and on the other hand customers are also loyal to the brand. Most of the time, differentiation between the products are not real.


Learn about:-

1. Meaning of Branding 2. Definition of Branding 3. Concept 4. Features 5. Objectives 6. Types 7. Significance 8. How to Develop Your Company’s brand 9. How to Develop Global Brand

10. Branding and Consumer  11. Branding Decision 12. Role of Brand in Retail Trade 13. Positioning of Brand 14. Difference Between Own Brand and Corporate Brand 15. Brand as a Barrier to Entry 16. Merits 17. Limitations.

Brand Marketing: Meaning, Definition, Objectives, Types, Significance, Brand Positioning, Benefits and Limitations

Brand Marketing – Introduction

Brand Management holds the key in the modern markets. In a world where products are multiplying and becoming more and more similar, management of brands is critical for survival of the products as well as the companies making them.


The long-term brand management starts with the brand concept and name selection. Brand concept refers to the meaning of the brand, i.e., it defines the brand market boundaries. Brand name is like naming a new child. It basically serves to identify the offering. It also helps in establishing the concept. (COLGATE has never shown any compromise to its original concept — Colgate is one word for dental care.)

The word ‘Brand’ has its origin in the Norwegian word “Brand”, which means to burn. In ancient times, farmers used to put burn marks as identification on livestock to distinguish their possessions.

If livestock were to replaced by products in today’s world, marketers are resorting to branding to distinguish their products from that of the competitors. Additionally, it also means an inherent assurance to the customers for quality.

Many consumer products, besides their basic features, need attractive packaging and a ‘brand name’. A brand is a symbol or a mark that helps a customer in instant recall, differentiating it thereby from the competing products of a similar nature.


According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), “A brand name is a part of a brand consisting of a word, letter, and group of words or letters to identify the goods or services of a seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitors.”

David Ogilvy defined a brand as “the consumer’s idea of a product.” A brand distinguishes a product or service from similar offerings on the basis of unique features perceived by the consumers. The best examples of brand names are- LUX, LIRIL, REXONA, EVITA, PROTEX, HAMAM and LE SANSI in case of toilet soaps, Surf, Ariel and Nirma in case of detergents and NIVEA, FEM, OIL OF OLEY, CHARMIS and VASELINE in case of vanishing creams. Other examples of successful brands are- SUNSILK, SURF, WHEEL, BROOKE BOND, CORNETTO, PONDS, etc.

A brand mark is a symbol or a design used for the purpose of identification. For example, Air India’s MAHARAJA.

The legal version of a brand mark is the ‘trade mark’, e.g., Ashok Masale and Good Health Atta.


A brand is given legal protection from being used by others because it is capable of exclusive approbation.

Brand Marketing – Meaning

American Marketing Association has defined-Brand as a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.

Under trademark law, the seller is granted exclusive rights to the use of the brand name in perpetuity. Brand is the art and cornerstone of marketing. Perhaps the most distinctive skill of professional marketer is their ability to create, maintain, protect and enhance brands. A brand is essentially a marketer’s promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services consistently to the buyers.

Brands vary in the amount of power and value they have in the marketplace. At one extreme are brands that are not known by the most buyers. Then there are brands for which buyers have a fairly high degree of brand awareness.


Branding helps the companies to stay ahead in the business than their competition. On the one hand, it helps the customers to differentiate between the different products and on the other hand customers are also loyal to the brand. Most of the time, differentiation between the products are not real.

But it is psychological and these differences are created with the right kind of messages projected through right media vehicles to the customers. Branding also helps to fight the price wars. Most of the time, customers are willing to pay 10% to 20% more for a brand. In some categories, it can go up to 30% to 40%.

The brand needs to be regularly fortified through the real differences – innovations and the psychological differences – image building exercises. Recently, Vodafone’s advertising campaign with the character Zoozoo has been so popular with the masses that it has got more than two lakhs fans on Facebook. In turn, it helps Vodafone to occupy the top of the mind recall value for the brand Vodafone.

Although there is no real differentiator as far as the mobile service is concerned with respect to the competition, yet this campaign has successfully created psychological differentiation. Similarly, Nokia, Colgate, Dettol, Fevicol, Surf Excel, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Amul Butter, Parle G etc. have all been successful in fortifying their brand images through their communication messages.


Branding means to create a new brand. With the advent of packaging, brands originated in the 19th Century. But the idea of marking things, people or animals by burning identifying marks on them was an ancient practice. That’s why the word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse brands which means ‘to burn’. It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products.

The first registered brand in the world was the red triangle, registered by Bass Beer, England. It was the first trademark to be registered under the British Trade Mark Registration Act 1875, filed as trademark no.1.

Industrialisation helped the branding exercise to take shape, for the primary function of identifying the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors; as defined by AMA. Factories started shipping their products with the logo type insignia on the shipping barrels. In USA, Campbell Soup, Coca Cola, Juicy Fruit Gum, Aunt Jemima and Quaker Oats were the first few products, which got branded.

Marketers try to create a unique or special identity to create a positive impression in the minds of the consumers. In 1955, Burleigh B. Gardner and Sidney J. Levy introduced the concept of Brand Image, in their article ‘The Product and The Brand’. They said that a brand image can be developed by attributing a personality to, or associating an image with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is branded on the consciousness of consumers. They used projective techniques to help define assets of the brand and to help define a holistic brand image.


Two basic points being:

1. A reputable brand persists as a stable image over time and

2. It is rarely possible for a product or a brand to be all things to all people.

While products and brands have interwoven sets of features, and consumers evaluate them in complex ways, advertising has to be based on attitudes and motives, while management has to play a complementary role to make the task richer.

When a brand is widely known in the market, it acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up so much to create a critical mass of positive sentiments among the consumers, it is said to have achieved brand franchise.

Brand Marketing – Definitions: Provided by Eminent Authors and Institutions: American Marketing Association, Steve McNamara, Cheryl Burgess, Leo Burnett and Few Others

All individuals have names and they are identified based on these names. Just imagine, if we did not have names, how confusing the World would be!


Just like individuals have names; products also have names and these names are called brands. These brands enable identification of a product among millions of products.

The word has its origin in the Old Norse word-Brand which means to burn. It meant the practice of producers burning their mark on the products.

“A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”. – American Marketing Association.

“Brand is any letter, word or name with or without a distinct colour, symbol, design and style used by a manufacturer, marketer or a merchant to identify his goods”. – Dictionary of Marketing.

“A brand is the sum of all feelings, thoughts and recognitions-positive and negative-that people in the target audience have about a company, a product or service.” – Steve McNamara, Ad Cracker(dot)Com.

“A brand is a reason to choose”. — Cheryl Burgess


“A brand symbol of anything that leaves a mental picture of the brand’s identity” — Leo Burnett

A brand is “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes- its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” – David Ogilvy

“Brand is the identity of a product or service. It’s the name, the logo, the design, or a combination of those that people use to identify, and differentiate, what they are about to buy. A good brand should deliver a clear message, provide credibility, connect with customers emotionally, motivate the buyer, and create user loyalty”. – Gini Dietrich

A brand is not merely a dry concept such as a name, symbol etc. It is a bundle of various factors. An ideal brand symbolizes the following-the product features, the product image in the minds of the consumers, the product attributes, the manufacturer’s name, product positioning etc.

Branding means the activity of analyzing the various aspects of a product, choosing an appropriate brand name and assigning it to the product. Everything is done keeping in mind the final consumer.

“Branding is a generic term encompassing the activities of a brand name to a product, designing a trade mark and establishing it and popularizing it”. – Advertising Association of Australia


“Branding is an ongoing process of looking at your company’s past and present…and then creating a cohesive personality for the company and its products going forward. We do SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and go through all the benefits (real and emotional) that the product or service fulfills for its customers. We review the key factors that spurred growth, pricing, corporate culture, key players, and we figure out “who you are”, by key players, the president, customer service. Then we create the brand voice first. It’s a wonderful process”. – Lois Geller

“Branding is the representation of your organization as a personality. Branding is who you are that differentiates you.” – Dave Kerpen

“Branding is the creation, development and maintenance of a mutually-valuable relationship with a strategically selected group of customers, through the medium of a fresh and compelling elaborated proposition that is delivered consistently over time by an artificial personality.” – Mud Valley

“Branding is simply attaching something to your name. A brand is the sum total of all the mental associations, good and bad that are triggered by a name.” – Roy H. Williams

“Branding simply involves developing and consistently communicating a group of positive characteristics that consumers can identify with and relate to your name.” – Barbara Findlay Schenck

A brand that has received legal protection to the exclusive use by its owner is called a trade mark. This is usually denoted by placing alphabet R in a small size encircled after the brand.

Brand Marketing – Concepts: Relationship between Trademarks and Brand, Brand Identity, Brand Trust, Multi-Brands, Crowd Sourcing Branding and a Few Other Concepts

1. Relationship between Trademarks and Brand:


The brand name is quite often used interchangeably with “trademark”, 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 and such trademarks are called “Registered Trademarks”.

2. Brand Identity:

Brand identity is what the owner wants to communicate to its potential consumers. However, over time, a product’s brand identity may acquire and evolve; gaining new attributes from consumer perspective but not necessarily from the marketing communications.

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

3. Brand Trust:


Brand trust is the intrinsic ‘believability’ that any company name or brand may evoke. It creates the foundation of a strong brand connect with all stakeholders, converting simple awareness to strong commitment. This, in turn, metamorphoses normal people who have an indirect or direct stake in the organization into devoted ambassadors, leading to several advantages like easier acceptability of brand extensions, perception of premium, and acceptance of temporary quality deficiencies.

4. Brand Parity:

Brand parity is the perception of the customers that some brands are equivalent. This means that shoppers will purchase within a group of accepted brands rather than choosing one specific brand. When brand parity is present, quality is often not a major concern because consumers believe that only minor quality differences exist.

5. Iconic Brands:

Are Brands whose value to consumers comes primarily from having identity value 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 are- Apple and Nike.

There are four key elements to creating iconic brands, which have been explained as under:

i. Necessary conditions – The performance of the product must at least be acceptable, preferably with a reputation of having good quality.

ii. Myth-making – A meaningful storytelling fabricated by cultural insiders must be seen as legitimate and respected by consumers.

iii. Cultural contradictions – this refers to a difference with the way consumers are and how they wish they were.

iv. The cultural brand management process – it involves Active engagement in the myth- making process to make sure that the brand maintains its position as an icon.

6. “No-Brand” Branding:

Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued “no-brand” strategies by creating packaging that imitates generic brand simplicity. Examples include the Japanese company Muji, which means “No label”, 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 may be construed as a type of branding as the product is made conspicuous through the absence of a brand name.

7. Multi-Brands:

Alternatively, in fragmented markets, a supplier can choose to launch number of brands which are in competition with its own existing strong brand. This strategy is widely known as Multi Brand Strategy. Individual brand names allow greater flexibility by permitting a variety of different products, of differing quality, to be sold without confusing the consumer’s perception of what business the company is in or diluting higher quality products.

For example Procter & Gamble follows this philosophy, by running as many as ten detergent brands in the US market.

8. Crowd Sourcing Branding:

These are brands that are created by the people for the business, which is opposite to the traditional method where the business creates a brand. This type of method minimizes the risk of brand failure, since the people that might reject the brand in the traditional method are the ones who are participating in the branding process.

Brand Marketing – Features

A brand is a very crucial factor for the success of a product. Therefore companies take utmost care in choosing a brand name.

An ideal brand should have the following features:

1. Product benefits – A brand should convey one or a few of the most important benefits of the product itself.

2. Easy to pronounce – Products will be sold over a very wide area often to people belonging to different countries speaking different languages. Therefore a brand be such that people all over the market should be able to pronounce it without difficulty.

3. Distinctive – A brand should not be very close to another existing brand because, in that case people may tend to confuse these brands.

4. Product qualities – A brand should convey one or a few of the most important qualities of the product itself.

5. Not carry an undesirable meaning in a different language – Since products are going to be sold over a wide area, a brand will also be featured in all these countries. A manufacturer should take care while choosing a brand so that, it does not convey an undesirable meaning, in the language in any of these countries.

6. Short – Brand name should be short and sweet. People tend to forget long brand names.

7. Legal protection – Industries generally tend to replicate successful brands and for this reason, industries get their brands registered. Therefore a brand should be capable of being registered.

8. Original – One should not copy or imitate another brand. If an industry does so, it will get into legal tangles.

Brand Marketing – Objectives: Corporate Identity, TQM, Customer Preference, Market Segmentation, Strong Market, Customer Loyalty, Product Identity and a Few More

Corporate managers have to continuously monitor the brand strengths in terms of various brand attributes. Brand identification, market share, competitive strength, international acceptance, brand availability, market stability etc. are some of the attributes which build the brand strengths.

The cost incurred to propagate and popularize the brand does not automatically guarantee the brand value. A proper linkage should always be envisaged between cost and attributes. A cost in the form of advertisement etc. which strengthens the brand attributes should add to the brand value and brand equity.

The important objectives of branding are as follows:

i. Corporate Identity – Brands help companies in creating and maintaining an identity for them in the market place. This is chiefly facilitated by brand popularity and the eventual customer loyalty attached to the brands.

ii. TQM – By building brand image, it is possible for a body corporate to adopt and practice Total Quality Management (TQM). Brands help in building a lasting relationship between the brand owner and the brand user.

iii. Customer Preference – The need for branding a product or service arises on account of the perceived choice and preferences which are built up psychologically by the customers. In fact, branding gives them the advantage of status fulfillment.

iv. Market Segmentation – Segmenting a market requires classification of markets into more strategic areas on a homogeneous pattern for efficient operations to enable firms to effectively target consumers and to meet the competition. This segmenting of a market is facilitated through the built-up strong brand values.

v. Strong Market – By building strong brands, firms can enlarge and strengthen their market base. This would also facilitate programs, designed to achieve maximum market share.

vi. Customer Loyalty – It is a form of differentiation which makes customers readily identify the goods or services and thereby helps to create customer loyalty to the brand.

vii. Product Identity – The more a product is similar to competing goods, the more branding is necessary to create a separate product identity.

viii. Acceptance by Channel Partners – Branding leads to a more ready acceptance of a manufacturer’s goods by wholesalers or retailers.

ix. Shelf Space – It facilitates self-selection of goods in self-service stores and also makes it easier for a manufacturer to obtain display space in stores and shops.

x. Price Differential – It reduces the importance of price differentials between goods.

xi. Marketing Strategy – Brand loyalty in customers gives a manufacturer more control over marketing strategy and his choice of channels of distribution.

xii. Brand Extension – Other products can be introduced into brand range on the articles already known to the customer.

xiii. Personal Selling – It leases the task of personal selling and is supposed to convey psychic benefits to the customer.

Brand Marketing – 4 Important Types: Family, Corporate, Individual and Multiple Branding with Advantages

The different options available before a company while selecting the brand are:

1. Family branding

2. Corporate branding or umbrella branding

3. Individual branding, and

4. Multiple branding

Type # 1. Family Brands:

In this case different products of the company are marketed under one brand name. For example- Nilgiris dairy products are sold under the brand name Nilgiris itself. Similarly, consumer durables are sold under one brand name for different products. Some examples are Kelvinator, Samsung, Godrej, Philips, Haier and Electrolux. Similarly, Kenstar is the brand name for water purifiers, mixer grinders, toasters, washing machines, etc.

It is convenient to adopt a family brand for related products. This will make the promotion easier and less expensive for all brands under a family brand. But the marketeer in this case has to ensure that all the products offered under the family brand maintain the same standards of quality.

Otherwise, this may affect the entire range of products covered under the family brand. If one product is of low quality, then the consumers may reject other products also from the same family brand. In short, in family branding there is a composite responsibility among the various products coming under the brand.


a. Advertising and promotion efforts can be combined for all the products falling under the family brand. For example- car manufacturers like Maruti, Indica, Honda, Toyota etc. use a simple advertising and promotion strategy for all their products.

b. Secondly, the company can promote more products with one advertisement. For example- Bata promotes its different products like shoes, sportswear, school bags etc. with the same advertisement.

c. The launching of a new product becomes easier and cheaper under this type of branding. For example- launching the “NDTV sports channel” was easier, because NDTV advertised this through its existing news channels – NDTV English and the Hindi 24 hour network.

Type # 2. Corporate Brand:

This is also known as Umbrella branding. This type of branding can be adopted when a company sells several articles with different brand names, but each product carries the name of the company. Some examples are all the products of Cadbury’s, Hindustan Lever Limited, Tata and Bajaj Ltd.

All products of Tata, like telephone, trucks, cars, soaps etc. are sold in the name of Tata. Another company sell all its baby products like baby oil, baby shampoo, baby soap under the brand name “Johnson’s”. This type of branding is resorted to only when the company is confident that lending the company name to its products gives a better identify to the products.


a. A company can promote a variety of products that may not be related to each other. For example- Godrej has many diverse products like cupboards, refrigerators, hair dye, soaps, office equipment, mosquito repellents, etc.

b. Secondly, once the corporate brand name is established it is easier to promote new products.

c. Thirdly, this type of branding has the advantage of low promoting cost and less marketing effort.

Type # 3. Individual Brand:

This type of branding can be successfully applied in the case of industries which produce one or more products with slight differences; For example- Joy, Kwality and Arun which have different varieties of ice creams. Here each product of the company is given an independent brand name.

Since an individual brand name is given to each product, there is no question of a composite responsibility. Each brand gets promoted separately and moves by itself. Here, the promotion expenses are high because each brand has to get promoted separately.

Type # 4. Multiple Brands:

In this type of branding more than one brand is offered in a product category. For example- cell phone manufacturers offer cell phones in different categories like ordinary use, with camera, picture messages, games, ring tones, screen icons, etc. This type of branding is intended to achieve a greater degree of market penetration. Though the product is the same with different features, different sales appeals are built around a different brand, thus maximizing the total sale of the product.


a. This type of branding helps expand the market share by attracting new customers with new brands of the same products. For example- soft drinks companies like Pepsi and Coke introduce new product variations in colour, flavour, taste, etc.

b. This type of branding helps exploit behaviour variations amongst consumers by offering them more than one brand with varying appeals and motivation. For example- readymade garment manufacturers have different variations of shirts, trousers and jeans with different colours and styles to offer customers. Similarly, Ray Ban has over 175 models to offer to the customers.

c. This type of branding helps to further expand the market share by offering new brands of the same product.

d. Two or more brands commonly capture more sales and profits, because they cater to more segments.

d. This type of branding serves as leverage in acquiring a dominant market position.

Brand Marketing – Significance

Branding is the process of creating distinctive and durable perceptions in the minds of consumers. A brand is a persistent, unique business identity intertwined with associations of personality, quality, origin, liking and more.

A successful product and brand strategy develops brand awareness and identity that sets one product apart from the countless others solely based on brand name. A well-designed strategy repeatedly reminds potential and current customers why they should purchase a particular product over others with similar characteristics.

The brand name compels a customer to buy a product based on his emotional ties to what the brand implies, not necessarily quality, or price Positioning.

A strong brand offers many advantages for marketers some of which have been explained below:

1. Brand Enhances Product Recognition – Brands provide multiple sensory stimuli to enhance customer recognition. For example, a brand can be visually recognizable from its packaging, logo, shape, etc. It can also be recognizable via sound, such as hearing the name on a radio advertisement or talking with someone who mentions the product.

2. It Helps to Build Brand Loyalty – Customers who are frequent and enthusiastic purchasers of a particular brand are likely to become Brand Loyal. Cultivating brand loyalty among customers is the ultimate reward for successful marketers.

3. It Helps with Product Positioning – Well-developed and promoted brands make product positioning efforts more effective. The reverse is even better. When customers associate benefits with a particular brand, the brand may have attained a significant competitive advantage.

4. Brand Aids in Introduction of New Products – Firms that establish a successful brand can extend the brand by adding new products under the same “family” brand. Such branding may allow companies to introduce new products more easily since the brand is already recognized within the market.

5. It Builds Brand Equity – Strong brands can lead to financial advantages through the concept of Brand Equity in which the brand itself becomes valuable. Such gains can be realized through the out-right sale of a brand or through licensing arrangements.

6. It Results in Memorability – A brand, In addition to an effective company name, helps when people have material reminders reinforcing the identity of companies. Memorability can come from using and sticking with an unusual colour combination distinctive behaviour or with an individual.

7. It Increases Loyalty – When people have a positive experience with a memorable brand, they are more likely to buy that product or service again than buying from the competing brand. The brand identity helps to create such loyalty.

8. It Builds Familiarity – Branding has a big effect on non-customers too. Psychologists have shown that familiarity induces liking. Consequently, people who have never done business but have encountered the company identity few times may recommend the company product even when they have no personal knowledge of it.

9. Premium image, premium price – Branding or a good brand image helps the company to attract those who are eager to pay more for the goods than for those of competitors. The distinctive value inherent in a brand can even lead people to reject evidence, which they would normally use to make buying decisions.

10. Extensions – With a well-established brand, the company can reap benefit of the good image and sell any other product under the same brand name. The buyer would associate the same quality even with the new product.

11. Higher value of company goodwill – It means that if the decision is taken to sell the business, the company would get more money.

12. Lower marketing expenses – Although it takes huge money to create a brand, once it is created the company can maintain it without having to tell the whole story about the brand every time it is marketed.

13. Less risk for consumers – When someone feels under pressure to make a wise decision, he or she tends to choose the brand-name supplier over the no-name one.

Brand Marketing – How to Develop Your Company’s Brand?

These days each company does the branding through their customer experience, whether they know it or not. Branding properly can make the difference between your firm being mediocre and your company becoming one of the truly great successes of your industry.

Buyers of products and services are interested in the answer to two questions – Will this product or service do what we need? Can we depend on the company that sells it?

The problem is, in order for your customers to be able to answer these questions, they need to know who you are, what you make, believe in your solution, and trust you. They suffer from the FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). A brand solves this problem for you. A brand replaces FUD with Comfort, Stability and Confidence.

Your brand will be created whether you want it to or not. It just happens. A great brand, on the other hand, doesn’t just happen.

Steps to Develop Brand:

Follow these steps to develop your company’s brand:

(i) Determine the parts of your company that are most likely to come into contact with the prospect and customer base.

(ii) Then develop a comprehensive positioning and messaging strategy (top 3 to 5 messages, elevator test, unique selling proposition (USPs), taglines, etc.).

(iii) How do your customers feel when they purchase and use your product? Volvo sells the promise of safety. Intel promises quality “embedded inside” electronics. Sunkist promises a high- quality agricultural product.

(iv) What is your company promising? If you don’t know, ask customers until you get a statistically significant response. Remember that if you are not building the brand yourself, some kind of image will get built anyway, often by your competitors!

(v) Most people think of a brand as a trademark or logo. In actual fact, a brand has a much broader reach than just some graphics; more than a trademark, it’s a “trust-mark”, conveying the perception of –

(a) Rank – Customers will only review the top 2 or 3 brands. Aim to dominate in every market in which you choose to compete. If you can’t, redefine and narrow the market so that you can, or increase your capacity so you can dominate the market you’re in.

(b) Reliability – The assurance of quality makes selection worry-free. Reputation – the brand you can trust eliminates fear, uncertainty and doubt. In an IDG study which surveyed buyers to see what sources they used to gain information, the top two responses: articles and reviews in magazines and product advertising.

(vi) More and more potential buyers are turning to the web as the ultimate source of information. It’s critical that all your marketing communications reflect the consistent messaging laid out in step 1.

(vii) In any messaging medium, the first 10 seconds will either turn people on or off. Romance the intellect and the heart.

(viii) Consistency in messaging cannot be overstated –

(a) Are all of your ads consistent with your messaging and positioning?

(b) Does your behaviour reinforce the image you want?

(c) Is all the messaging of your corporate collateral consistent with the messaging and positioning?

(d) Is your CEO or top brass consistent and “on message” when interviewed?

(e) Do your trade show booth repeat the messaging?

(f) Is your web site consistent as far as messaging is concerned?

(g) Is your staff (not just the sales people, what about the receptionist?) trained in communicating a consistent message?

Get started today on building your brand. It’ll be cheaper and more effective to do it today rather than tomorrow. Consistency over time is the key; you’ll soon be wondering why every company doesn’t build their brand this way. You’ll be glad yours’ did!

Brand Marketing – How to Develop Global Brands? (3 Step Process)

While we have witnessed some exemplary global branding successes, such as Coke, Sony Walkman, Marlboro cigarettes, and the Big Mac from McDonald’s, not all attempts at global branding give cause for celebration. Perhaps sales never matched expectations, economies of scale failed to appear, or higher shares and greater margins never materialized. No doubt frustrated local managers have been heard to mutter ‘I told you so’ in 50 different languages.

According to McKinsey, there is a three-step process for getting it right with global brands.

Step # 1. Challenge the Benefits of Going Global:

To move beyond a generalized notion of ‘global is good’, marketing managers need to analyses the key contributors to success and to consider the costs as well as the benefits of going global. What has created competitive advantage in country X or Y? What has made the market leader unique?

Superior brand benefits may be attributable to core functionality, engineered through hard-to- copy innovation, such as that enjoyed by Polaroid instant cameras or Pampers nappies. Alternatively, as in the case of Dunhill or Cartier, brands may be cleverly positioned to deliver clear emotional benefits that are of significant interest to current and potential customer segments in major cities around the world.

Step # 2. Standardize Only the Core Elements:

Creating an effective global brand does not mean rote standardization. The task, instead, is to review, separately each element of the offer and to determine the degree of standardization that is appropriate. Successful global marketers tend to standardize only the core elements (those elements described in Step 1 which create the brand’s competitive edge).

For instance, Bacardi, the best- selling spirit brand in the world, only standardizes its product formulation, packaging and brand name. Its brand positioning, advertising and pricing reflect significant local adaptation, as does its sales approach. American Express does not compromise its brand name, positioning or service offer, while other elements of the company’s offer, such as advertising, pricing, sales and sales channels are adapted to national conditions.

Step # 3. Central Versus Local Control of Business Development:

The challenge of brand globalization is to find a solution that avoids the extremes of a totally ‘hands-off’ approach or one of destructive intervention. P&G has tackled this problem within its European operations by creating ‘category managers’ in major national subsidiaries who supervise manufactur­ing, sales and marketing.

Category management teams are responsible for developing and optimizing the product portfolios of retail customers in the national and international markets where they compete. Such a role requires business process skills in supply chain management, new product development and customer relationship management. Heinz, on the other hand, follows a decentralized approach in its core food business- CEOs hold a countrywide remit and there are no centralized functions for business development.

Global branding does not specify a single strategy, and neither does it guarantee business success. However, it is undoubtedly true that the growing trend in branding and positioning is moving steadfastly from national to multinational marketing and brand development.

Brand Marketing – Branding and Consumers

Consumers while buying pre-packed branded goods use the following guidelines to measure quality in relation to price – 1. Tips from friends, 2. Advertising, 3. Slogans, 4. Brands and trade marks, 5. Labels and 6. 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. Lack of confidence and lack of precise knowledge compel consumers to rely heavily on the familiar, heavily advertised, and generally high-priced goods. 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 indication of quality.

Comparative testing conducted by consumer organisations has led to the conclusion that there is no dependable correlation among brand, price and quality. 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.

In cosmetic industry, consumer’s inclination or tendency to fol­low price as a good guide to quality has been fully exploited by the manufacturers of cosmetics. Sellers of cosmetics spend lavishly on advertising their brands. There is a large margin between the cost of manufacture and retail price. For example, one face cream costs only Rs.10/- to make. It sells at Rs.30/- in the retail market.

It has been pointed out through comparative testing that inexpen­sive cosmetics often work better or equally and are safer than expensive and complicated sophisticated cosmetics. Perfumes with identical fragrance are sold at different prices, viz., Rs.200/- per ounce of national brand, while Rs.80/- per ounce of dealer’s brand.

Similar state of affairs is found in the drug industry. It was proved through comparative testing of five well-known brands of pain-relieving tablets, that there was no significant difference in pain relieving effects of those five tablets and that the price was no measure of their effectiveness. National brand of aspirin was sold at Rs.15/- for 100 tablets, whereas the dealer brand of 500 aspirin tablets was sold at hardly Rs.30/- per bottle.

In domestic appliances also there is a wide price spread in the various brands and consumer finds difficulty in choosing a brand merely on the basis of prices.

Branding process may be against public interest. It needs attractive packaging, heavy advertising and promotional expendi­ture. This raises the retail prices of branded goods even by 20% to 30%.

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 8 to 10 brands. All are practically alike. 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 drugs, e.g., antibiotics.

The utility of branding diminishes as the consumers’ faith and confidence in the product increases. Until that stage is reached, branding is desirable, as it is the best means of identification. In India we have yet to reach that stage.

As long as branding is considered desirable and as long as we do not have overflow of branded goods, consumers in India may have the following benefits of branding:

1. Right kind of brand advertising and personal selling provide ample information to the consumer about the branded products.

2. Branded goods have uniform and standardised quality as the author of the registered brand is personally responsible to maintain the quality. There is no need of personal inspection and no danger of adulteration.

3. Rapid sales turnover assures fresher products due to frequent replacement of stocks with the retailer.

4. 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.

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.

The variety and complexity of products creates a practical difficulty for average consumer in choosing a product to satisfy his wants. Thus consumer has become dependent on branding. The manufacturers have taken full advantage of this dependency by spending millions of rupees on advertising to keep their brand names constantly before the consumer. Consumers buy brand X because the advertisements tell them day in and day out to buy Brand X only and not any other brand.

Brand Marketing – Branding Decision

The first and major branding strategy decision is whether to develop brand name for a product or not. Today, branding is such a strong force that hardly anything goes unbranded. Assuming a firm decides to brand its products or services, it must then choose which brand names to use.

Following are some of the branding strategies, which are often used:

1. Individual Product Names:

Individual names strategy is adopted when the company does not wish to launch a new product under the group brand name. Therefore, the new product is developed as a brand so that if the new product is not accepted by the buyer, it will not hurt the overall company brand. For example, Procter & Gamble (INDIA) has several individual brands in different product categories such as Vicks (health care), Whisper (feminine hygiene), Ariel and tide (fabric care) etc.

2. Umbrella Family Names / Corporate Campaign:

This policy is adopted by those companies which develop an overall company image and then sell products belonging to all categories under the same brand. For example Tata uses the blanket family name for all its diverse product categories such as salt, tea, coffee, automobiles, and steel. Development cost are lower with blanket names because there’s no need to run “name” research or spend heavily on advertising to create recognition.

3. Separate Family Names for Group of Products:

Many times the company develops a mid-path and builds single brand name for same type of products. In this way the company has more than one brand name but less than individual brands built for each product. The Aditya Birla Group in India follows this policy to a great extent. It uses separate family names for its various products. Hindalco for aluminium, Ultra Tech for cement, Grasim and Graviera for suiting are some examples.

4. Corporate Brand Name along with Individual Product Names:

This is another strategy wherein the company combines the brand name with the product, in order to highlight the features of the product. For example Kellogg combines corporate and individual names such as Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Kellogg chocos etc. Individual names and blanket family names are sometimes referred to as a “house of brands”.

Brand Marketing – Role of Brand in Retail Trade

Brand is considered a pertinent marketing tool for retail companies in highly competitive markets. The marketplace becomes mature. So, there is a need to raise product. In a nature market, retailers experience slow growth and declining returns. Each retail organisation, will therefore attempt to defend its market share. It has to encourage consumers’ purchase loyalty and differentiate its outlets and offers.

i. Advantages of Brand Building to Retailers:

Brand building enables retailers:

1. To build a long-term demand, based on the strength of the brand.

2. To hold better margins than retail stores that have weak brand names.

3. To differentiate their products by creating associations that last longer.

4. To entice consumers to visit and buy regularly.

5. To create confidence in customers by fulfilling their service expectations.

6. To promote customers loyalty and implement relationship marketing schemes for retail offers.

7. To guard themselves against the stiff competing offers by alternative intermediaries.

8. To gain leverage in the distribution channel.

9. To protect themselves against aggressive selling by competitors.

10. To serve as barriers to the new entrants entering the market.

11. To transform themselves into strong retail formats such as companies which are attractive to buyers.

12. To bargain with suppliers from the position of strength.

13. To emerge as market leaders instead of mere market followers.

ii. Advantages to Consumers:

1. Brand helps consumers to short-list a product that suits their requirements.

2. Buyers are assured of the quality of a branded product.

3. Brand helps buyers purchase products wherever they want.

4. Shopping becomes prestigious.

5. Branded items need little explanation from the showroom salesman. So, branding facilitates self and avoids interruption of salespersons.

Brand Marketing – Positioning of a Brand

Brand positioning is the process of distinguishing a brand from its competitors so that it becomes the preferred brand m defined segment of the market. In the words of Philip Kotler “Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offer and image so that it occupies a distinct and valued place m the target customers’ mind”.

Objectives of Positioning Strategy:

1. The objective of positioning strategy is to have the brand favourably perceived by the consumers in the target market. There are differences in how buyers perceive retinol offering.

2. The brand is the focal point of positioning strategy as other marketing mix components are working to words positioning the brands.

3. As brands proliferate, consumers tend to differentiate between brands in their own way. Positioning is a conscious attempt on the part of the marketer to accentuate this natural tendency. A consumer imparts a distinct identity to his/her own brand to make it stand out among the competitors.

4. Brand positioning provides the vehicle to integrate the marketing mix and create overall consumers perception.

5. Brand positioning is essentially about two variables- (i) The exact composition of the offer made to the market (ii) the parts of the market (market segments) to which the offers is made.

6. Brand position = Brand differentiation + Brand segmentation.

7. Segmentations identify homogeneous groups of potential customers, positioning takes into account how customers Perce vice the competing retail store brands, merchandise offers or service. Both segmentation and positioning focus on how customers in market can be identified and grouped. Then they study how those customers (segments) perceive the variety in the market.

8. The object of positioning process is to convert the offer into a clearly defined brand.

The state gist should consider whether the position is:

(i) Apparent to consumers and offers added value to them.

(ii) Built upon real brand strengths which show the performance potential.

(iii) Clearly differentiated from competing retail brands.

(iv) Capable of being understood and communicated to potential customers.

(v) Able to defend itself from the attack of competitors.

Brand Marketing – Difference Between Own Brand and Corporate Brand

Difference # Own-Brands:

Own brands are the names given to consumer’ products by, or on behalf of distributors and sold under the distributor’s own name or trademark through the distributor’s own outlet. The development of own brands has strengthened the position of large scale retailers as they gain extra control over the value chain. Own-brands are also known as own-label brands.

Types of Own Brands:

There are four main types of own brands:

1. Generic,

2. Price- led retailer brand,

3. Quality led own brand, and

4. Exclusive own brand.

1. Generic:

Generic own-brands are plain packaging with no branding but may have the retailer’s name. They are unadvertised and offered as a lower grade alternative purchase. Generic brands are more popular in poorer areas and at times of recession.

2. Price-Led Retailer Brand:

Price-led retailer brand carries the name of the retailers. The packaging is designed overtly to communicate with the impression of value and of lower price. The strategy is to provide better value than the manufacturers’ brands by setting a lower price, price-led retailer brands is followed for purchased in large volume.

3. Quality Led Own Brand:

Quality led own brand focuses on quality of the brand. The packaging is designed to reflect product quality. It competes directly with established manufacturer brands. This is positioned as a close competitor. It builds brand image of retailer, expands product assortment and increases margin.

4. Exclusive Own-Brand:

Exclusive own-brand is manu­facturer based. The manufacturer produces exclusive own brands to be sold through one retailer. This is a niche strategy based upon differentiation to earn higher margins.  

Difference # Corporate Branding:

Corporate branding means developing the whole company as the brand. Organisations are positioned as brand in the minds of actual and potential consumers. Corporate branding enables the retail organizations to create corporate brands and sustain a differentiate, competitive advantage over their competitors.

According to King (1991), the company brand will become the main discriminator. Consumers can assess the people in the company, their skills, attitudes, behaviour, design, style, language, modes of communication, speed of response and so on. The whole company’s culture reflects in its image among consumers.

Features of Company Brands:

1. Company brand is targeted at a wide variety of audiences rather than simply consumers. Relevant audiences include shareholders, suppliers, govern­ment agencies, banks, employees and potential employees as well as immediate customers. These stakeholders understand- What the company is? What the company does; and how the company does it.

2. Chernatony and McDonald (1998) state- “a charac­teristic of successful brand is the way their position has been precisely defined and communicated internally. Everyone working on a particulars brand is regularly reminded of the brand’s positioning and an integrated, committed approach is adopted, ensuring that the correct balance of resources is consistently applied.”

3. Modern retail organizations require new initiatives and activities outside the traditional skills of the marketing department. Brand building involves designing and controlling all aspects of a company which stretch beyond it. This approach is all pervasive approach. This in turn requires constant and convincing communication with audiences offering positive images of company’s product.

4. Companies grow through extension, brand acqui­sition or brand alliance. Large corporations use corporate brand management to build portfolios.

5. Corporate brand building is inevitable to control retail franchises. It controls the standards and service delivery to protect the brand equality. It legally binds the franchise agreement.

6. A company supports the corporate brand in three ways- i. A central hub system ii. An endorsed brand system iii. A hybrid approach.

i. Central Hub System- The corporate brand is placed at the heart of the business. All products, services and communication are managed with the same name, corporate family identity, and corporate brand values. The brand name is used across the whole of business.

There is the benefit of goodwill, economics of scale in brand building and credibility when the company launches its new products. The difficulty in the central hub system is that the whole business has to adapt to the core brand values. If there is any negative communication from one part of the business, it may result in dilution of corporate brand equity.

ii. Endorsed Brand System- The corporate brand has certain values like trust, security, competence, etc., which endorse product brands within the portfolio.

iii. Hybrid Approach- A hybrid approach combines different approaches whereby competitive advantage of the corporate name is subsumed within other leading brands. For example, Nestle, the largest food group banner brands such as Perrier, Carnation etc.

Brand Marketing – Brand As a Barrier to Entry

A barrier to entry makes it difficult for a new entrant to enter and to gain a foothold in a market.

Barriers to entry to include:

(a) Economies of scale

(b) Product differentiation

(c) Switching costs

(d) Access to distribution

(e) Cost leadership

(f) Access to technology and resources etc.

Brands will act as barrier to entry through:

(a) Product differentiation

(b) Developing customer loyalty

(c) Crowdout competition

(d) High cost of switching

(e) Gaining confidence of channel partners

(f) Providing excellent after sales service

(g) Educating customers of product characteristics etc.

Brand Marketing – Merits: Merits to Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailer and Consumers

No company can even imagine, selling goods on a large scale without branding in the present situation. A solid brand strategy is the foundation you need to build a successful business that will help you attract more customers, get current customers to purchase more frequently and build loyalty. Branding confers all round benefits-to all the parties involved.

The following are the merits of branding:

1. Merits to Manufacturers:

i. Product identity/recognition/individuality – The present market is characterized by a plethora of products. Therefore, unless a manufacturer brands his products, his product will get lost in the huge market. People will neither remember nor recall unbranded products.

ii. Strong demand – The present day consumer is used to consuming branded products and it is only branded goods which sell in a large quantity.

iii. Brand-an asset – Well established, well-advertised and long standing brands are considered valuable assets of a company. A brand becomes the intellectual property of the company. According to certain methods of valuation, the values of certain well established brands have been found to be worth, a few thousands of crores of Rupees.

iv. Higher prices – People are willing to pay a slightly higher price to buy branded goods because of their faith in the brand and in the manufacturer. Therefore, branding enables the manufacturer to beat the problem of price based competition and thus secure a high price for a product.

v. Control on prices – When a manufacturer advertises the brand he can also advertise the maximum retail price of the sale and such a price can be printed or tagged on to each product. This enables the final consumers to know the maximum price to be paid and the retailers cannot over charge the consumers.

vi. Stronger bargaining position – A manufacturer owning well established brands is considered a strong manufacturer and such a manufacturer can bargain with the retailers and wholesalers in a much more effective manner.

vii. Easy introduction of new products – If a manufacturer already has well-established brands under which goods are selling very well, he will find it very easy to introduce new products under the same brand and the consumers will accept such products easily because they are already familiar with the brand. They trust the new products under the brand just as they trusted the previous products.

viii. Reduction in advertising costs – Branded goods do not need much of advertising as consumers develop brand loyalty in the long run. At one stage the manufacturers may not even have to advertise, they will only have to remind the consumers about the brand.

ix. Less commission to the middlemen – Since branded goods are well advertised, the wholesalers and retailers do not have to put in more efforts to sell such goods. Therefore they sell branded goods at lesser commission/remuneration/profit etc.

x. Brand advertises the manufacturer – Whenever a brand is advertised, the manufacturer’s name is also featured. This gives large amount of publicity and goodwill to the manufacturer.

xi. Brand positioning – Branding enables the manufacturer to position his products in the market appropriately.

xii. International trade – Branding enables a manufacturer to sell his products overseas. There are many brands which are popular throughout the World.

2. Merits to Wholesalers and Retailers:

i. No bargaining – Branded goods always carry the manufacturer recommended prices. Wholesalers and retailers can easily sell these goods at such prices and thereby avoiding the possibility of customers bargaining.

ii. Rapid sales – Branded goods are generally fast selling as compared with unbranded goods. Therefore wholesalers and retailers can have a rapid turnover by selling branded goods. The time taken between purchase of goods and the sale of the same is very short in case of branded goods which also reduces the working capital requirement.

iii. Reputation – Brands have their own reputation and wholesalers and retailers selling such brands will also derive the same reputation and thus branded goods increase the reputation of sellers.

iv. Attractive display of goods – Branded goods have attractive logos and packages. When these goods are displayed, it makes the premises of the wholesalers and retailers very attractive. This encourages window shopping and leads to impulse purchases.

v. Repeat sales – Branded goods make the customers to develop brand loyalty and this enables the wholesalers and retailers to retain their customers.

vi. Easy sales – Lesser amount of effort is needed to sell branded goods because of the familiarity of brands goods in the minds of customers. Therefore wholesalers and retailers need not put in lot of efforts to sell branded goods.

vii. Introduction of new products – Branded goods enable wholesalers and retailers to introduce new products as they already will have a large number of established customers.

viii. No necessity to create brands – When wholesalers and retailers deal in branded goods; they can sell the goods on the strength of manufacturers’ brands. Therefore wholesalers and retailers do not have to create their own brands and this saves them money and efforts.

ix. High sales – Consumers are moving towards use of branded goods. Therefore selling branded goods enables wholesalers and retailers to increase their sales.

x. Absence of quality relates hassles – Branded goods generally have good and dependable quality. Therefore wholesalers and retailers will not face any quality related complaints from customers.

3. Merits to Consumers:

i. Assured quality – Manufacturers of branded goods always maintain quality in their products in order to establish and maintain reputation. Therefore when consumers buy branded goods, they are assured of good quality.

ii. Easy shopping – When consumers buy goods of familiar brands, they do not have to inspect the goods or check the quality every time. Therefore when branded goods are bought, consumers do not have to spend much time or effort. Moreover consumers are assured of getting good quality, appropriate quantity and well packaged goods.

iii. Stable prices – Manufacturers of branded goods also fix the retail price at which they have to be sold. These prices do not fluctuate frequently as in the case of unbranded goods. Therefore consumers are assured of stable prices.

iv. Legal protection – When a consumer has any grievance or complaint regarding the branded goods, he can always go to a court of law or a consumer court, to get justice. Manufacturers will have to definitely address the issues faced by the consumer. Therefore when a consumer buys branded goods, he will definitely get a favourable solution for all his problems related to the goods.

v. Steady supply – Manufacturers of branded goods always ensure a steady and wide spread distribution of their goods. The consumers can buy these goods at all the points of time, easily.

vi. Life style – Goods of certain well established brands have their own personality and when people consume such goods, the goods will speak about their personality also. Branded goods add to the status and prestige of consumers.

vii. Safety – Manufacturers of branded goods always ensure maximum safety to the consumers. This is very essential in products like medicines, automobiles, electrical appliances etc.

viii. Educative value – Manufacturers of branded goods communicate a large amount of information such as the composition of the goods, the safety precautions to be taken, the use by date etc. to the consumers through the packages, instruction manuals, usage guide lines and advertisements. Therefore this communication educates the consumers.

Brand Marketing – Limitations: Unsuitable for Certain Products, Small Scale Industries, Burden of Responsibilities, Loss of Personal Touch, Higher Prices and a Few Others

1. Unsuitable for certain products – Branding will not suit or will become unaffordable in the cases of some products which are very low priced such as vegetables, cereals etc.

2. Unsuitable to small scale businessmen – Branding itself is tough job. Selection of an appropriate brand, popularizing the brand through promotion, securing legal protection to the brands etc., are not only expensive but also difficult. Therefore branding becomes unsuitable to small scale businessmen.

3. Burden of responsibility – Branding places a heavy burden of maintaining quality, regular supplies etc. on the manufacturers. The manufacturers will also have to pay heavy penalties in case of product failures etc.

4. Loss of personal touch – Branded goods reduce the role of people. Transacting with the customers on a personal basis is not possible in the case of branded goods.

5. Higher prices – Since branding requires huge amounts of expenses, these expenses are passed on to the consumers. The consumers will have to pay a higher price to buy branded goods.

6. Rigidity – When a brand becomes popular, people develop a certain image about the brand which is always related to some products. When the manufacturer intends launching some other products under the same brand, the brand image may not suit the new products.

7. Spread of dis-reputation – When a particular product under a brand of a manufacturer fails in the market, such dis-reputation will spread in the market and adversely affect the prospects of all other products of the manufacturer.

8. Misuse of brands – When a brand becomes very popular and well .established, its manufacturer may resort to quality reduction or price increase and thus exploit customers.

9. Unbearable losses – Branding is a very expensive exercise and it does not ensure success of the product at the market. Therefore if the product fails after spending huge amounts of money on its branding, these expenses cannot be recovered and such losses may become unbearable to the company.

10. Brand clutter – If there are too many brands in the market for the same product, it creates confusion in the minds of the consumers. This is called brand clutter.

11. Monopolies – When brands become too strong, they make it impossible for new manufacturers to enter the market. Such a situation may lead to a monopoly. The well-established manufacturers may start exploiting the consumers.