“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers” (American Marketing Association).The idea or image that emerges within a person’s mind when he thinks of the specific products of a company is a brand. The idea or image can both be practical or emotional. It’s just not the physical features of the product but the way it makes the consumers feel: the physical and emotional associations evoked by the name, logo, the message or the product visually. A brand is a person’s intuitive feelings about a product or company which changes from person to person.
Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind. (Business Dictionary).It is through branding that a product’s presence is established in the market and it is differentiated. It is a strategy to help people decide which product to buy, when faced by choices, by clarifying what a particular brand is and is not. It is through branding that consumers are convinced that a product is the solution to their needs.
Where there are hundreds of similar products in the markets, each brand tries to create its own unique identity to live in the minds of the consumers, which is different from the rest of the similar products in the market and sets it apart. It builds a loyal consumer base around that identity and what it promises. And through its advertising and promotional campaigns communicates its vision and promises to its consumers and would be consumers. For example, if the product is clothes, each company projects its own vision of the kind of clothes it wishes to sell. According to its target market, they could be fun, practical, formal etc. As the company delivers products in time with what it had promised, it builds a loyal customer base. To succeed in branding, one must understand the needs and wants of the customers and prospects, and connect with them. As consumers begin to relate to you, your brand will live within their hearts.
A brand also builds the reputation of a company and adds to its value. A brand that is well- known and has been widely advertised will have more selling power than an unknown brand and can sell its products at a higher price. Some companies build a reputation with their brands so that if some of its goods, such as clothes, are of good quality, if it ventures into house hold items, people will assume they will be of the same good quality.A good brand will clearly deliver the message, confirm the company’s credibility, emotionally connects the products with your potential customers, motivates the buyer to buy and create customer loyalty.There are different ways to create a brand. Through advertising and communication, product and packaging design, in-store experience, pricing, sponsoring and partnerships, the visual identity of the brand (logo, website and colors).
Packaging is the most effective way to catch a busy consumer’s attention. This distinguishes a brand from others and informs the consumer about the product’s qualities. Through advertising an entire universe for the product is created and its story is visually told. Advertising is a powerful way to create an image of the product in consumer’s minds and what it stands for.