The word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse brandr, meaning “to burn.” It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products.
A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan.
A brand represents many more intangible aspects of a product or service: a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle and status. It creates in the mind of customers and prospects the perception that there is no product or service on the market that is quite like yours. In short, a brand offers the customer a guarantee and then delivers on it.
A legally protected brand name is called a trademark. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity – it affects the personality of a product, company or service.
For a successful brand there are lot many thing to do that are as follows:
First of all you should know about the market that are you are going to target & also a very clear idea about which target segment you are eyeing.
People usually think that making a brand is just having a logo, tagline, and business card; you’ve completed your branding. But, unless you’ve carefully considered and defined ALL five of the key brand elements-position, promise, personality traits, story, and associations-you still have work to do.
And, until you’ve infiltrated your brand into every level of your organization and built the discipline of consistency into every behavior, action, or communication-both internally and externally-you are not yet on the path to a successful brand strategy.
Five Key Brand Elements
Brand Position: – Positioning is the art of creating a brand that can persuade and realistically demonstrate its relevance to a customer’s daily life to become his or her regular choice. The Brand Position is the part of the brand that describes what your organization does and for whom, what your unique value is and how a customer benefits from working with you or your product/service, and what key differentiation you have from your competition. Positioning is not created by the marketer or the individual brand itself, but by how others perceive it. Marketers don’t create the positioning; rather, they create the strategic and tactical suggestions to encourage the customer to accept a particular positioning in his or her mind. For instance, bread and milk are not branded items, and despite companies’ push to try and brand the two products, no company has found much success building brand equity. When customers want either one of those staple items, they usually choose what is on sale or what is available on their local grocer’s shelves. Beer and cola, on the other hand, are heavily branded product categories: Consumers have formed a relationship with and will search out their preferred brands. To position your offering properly, you need to identify the key attributes or benefits that represent the value of your product or service. That will, in turn, create trust in your brand. As you begin to understand the relationship that your customers have with your brand, you will be able to more efficiently meet their needs, wants and desires through your brand.
Brand Promise: – The Brand Promise is the single most important thing that the organization promises to deliver to its customers-every time. To come up with your brand promise, consider what customers, employees, and partners should expect from every interaction with you. Every business decision should be weighed against this promise to be sure that a) it fully reflects the promise, or b) at the very least it does not contradict the promise. Benefits need to be backed with some sort of persuasive reason to believe the product’s hype. Many times, products or services have some formula or patent that is “unique” from all the other brands out there. Why do we trust Pantene shampoo, for instance? Because we believe in the brand’s “revolutionary” Pro-V formula that leaves hairs strong and healthy. Why do we believe Secret antiperspirant will keep women smelling sweet? Because “its pH balanced for a woman, and not a man.”
Ask yourself: What promises are you making about your brand? Can my products or services follow through on those promises?
Brand Personality: – Brands that carry with them a true persona, and the beliefs and experiences similar to a personality make a brand rise to a new level. After all, it’s hard not to like someone with a good personality. In matters of branding, a personality helps to humanize an otherwise inanimate object or service so that a prospect’s defenses are lowered. An attractive brand personality can pre-sell the prospect before the purchase, reinforce the purchase decision, and help forge an emotional link that binds the buyer to the brand for years to come. In such cases, you are more willing to overlook flaws and search for strengths. A brand’s personality can offer the single most important reason why one brand will be chosen over another, particularly when there are few product or service features that are different between competing brands. The personality gives the consumer something to relate to that can be more vivid than the perceived positioning of the brand. Although a strong identifiable personality is not imperative, it can make it easier for customers and prospects alike to understand what the marketer has to offer. Even more important, a brand with a distinctive personality presents the would-be buyer with something he or she can relate to as an individual, a practical prerequisite for success in an increasingly individual-driven marketplace. Personality is usually shown in three ways.
Provider-driven – Provider-driven images are popular with services because there is a greater need to build confidence between the provider and seller since there is usually an intangible product on the table. Brands that lean heavily on the provider image include insurance companies and financial institutions. Prudential’s “The Rock” and Allstate’s “You’re in good hands,” show that the brand is trustworthy and their brands reflect the same attitude.
Image of the user – Other brands like to show that the people who use the brands are people that you could be friends with, relate to, or want to be like. Many companies with branded products geared toward Generation X and Y use this tactic. However, these generations are also skeptical of marketers and are keenly aware of when a brand is targeting them.
Image of the product or service – As strange as it may sound; packaged products often take on a personality that consumers can relate to. Whether through a mascot or an animated figurine, products come to life to give consumers more than just a brand to trust, but also a face. For instance, the Pillsbury Doughboy’s laugh reinforces that the product will make your family feel good.
Brand Story: – The Brand Story illustrates the organization’s history, along with how the history adds value and credibility to the brand. It also usually includes a summary of your products or services. The story and meaning of your brand is its most valuable and irreplaceable asset. Great brands large or small have a story that conveys both a truly valued attribute and an attitude which in combination sets them apart. You can rarely make up a great brand story, it’s usually already there. Our role is to uncover that story for you, bring it to life and then integrate it throughout your business.
Most brands today don’t have the financial muscle to ‘buy’ awareness or market share and operate in arenas where consumers are no longer spectators. Instead they are constituents that ask increasingly tougher questions of brands. This makes it critical to ensure that brands not only encapsulate a business or product’s unique story but also work as hard as possible at every touch point. Brand Story has a wealth of experience gained from working with blue chip top 100 company brands to absolute start-ups and we’re equally comfortable and motivated in both scenarios.
Brand Associations: – Brand Associations are the specific physical artifacts that make up the brand. This is your name, logo, colors, taglines, fonts, imagery, etc. Your brand associations must reflect your brand promise, all of your brand traits, and support your brand positioning statement. Brand Associations are not benefits, but are images and symbols associated with a brand or a brand benefit. For example- The Nike Swoosh, Nokia sound, Film Stars as with “Lux”, signature tune Ting-ting-ta-ding with Britannia, Blue color with Pepsi, etc. Associations are not “reasons-to-buy” but provide acquaintance and differentiation that’s not replicable. It is relating perceived qualities of a brand to a known entity. For instance- Hyatt Hotel is associated with luxury and comfort; BMW is associated with sophistication, fun driving, and superior engineering. Most popular brand associations are with the owners of brand, such as – Bill Gates and Microsoft, Reliance and Dhirubhai Ambani.
Brand associations are formed on the following basis:
- Customers contact with the organization and it’s employees;
- Word of mouth publicity;
- Price at which the brand is sold;
- Celebrity/big entity association;
- Quality of the product;
- Products and schemes offered by competitors;
- Product class/category to which the brand belongs;
- POP ( Point of purchase) displays; etc
Once you’ve developed and defined a relevant brand, you must begin building the brand with employees, customers, prospects, partners, etc. through consistent execution. Repetition is the key to the success of the branding process.
Now after building up of your brand you must check out these three things at regular interval of time and that is your employee, customers & services that you are offering. Because building up of any brand your employee play a very vital role.
No one, including your employees, will ever really know or remember what your brand is, unless it is the same every time they are exposed to it. They only present your brand to the customers by direct conversation. If your product is good enough then customers will come again & again and also convey the same to their friends & relatives. Whether it is planned or not, word of mouth is well worth the effort it takes to generate it. Word of mouth is still considered the most potent marketing communication of all because it’s dispensed by the most credible sources of all – ordinary citizens who don’t carry a built-in bias of commercial sponsors. When your company is lucky enough to be the beneficiary of word of mouth, your identity problems may be over, and your capacity problems may just be beginning.”