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." Branding began as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron stamp, and was subsequently used in business, marketing and advertising. A modern example of a brand is Coca Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company. 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
Concepts of Branding
Proper branding can result in higher sales of not only one product, but on other products associated with that brand. For example, if a customer loves Pillsbury biscuits and trusts the brand, he or she is more likely to try other products offered by the company such as chocolate chip cookies. Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors etc.
Some people distinguish the psychological aspect, brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on that become linked to the brand, of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The brand experience is a brand's action perceived by a person. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people, consisting of all the information and expectations associated with a product, service or the company(ies) providing them.
People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. Orientation of the whole organization towards its brand is called brand orientation. The brand orientation is developed in responsiveness to market intelligence.
Careful brand management seeks to make the product or services relevant to the target audience. Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price - they represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer.
A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achievedbrand franchise. Brand recognition is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company's name, but rather through visual signifiers like logos, slogans, and colors. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for go.com.
Consumers may look on branding as an aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic (see also brand promise). From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.
Brand awareness refers to customers' ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It consists of both brand recognition and brand recall. It helps the customers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products (Keller). Brand awareness is of critical importance since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it.
There are various levels of brand awareness that require different levels and combinations of brand recognition and recall. Top-of-Mind is the goal of most companies. Top-of-Mind Awareness occurs when your brand is what pops into a consumers mind when asked to name brands in a product category. For example, when someone is asked to name a type of facial tissue, the common answer is “Kleenex,” which is a top-of-mind brand. Aided Awareness occurs when a consumer is shown or reads a list of brands, and expresses familiarity with your brand only after they hear or see it as a type of memory aide. Strategic Awareness occurs when your brand is not only top-of-mind to consumers, but also has distinctive qualities that stick out to consumers as making it better than the other brands in your market. The distinctions that set your product apart from the competition is also known as the Unique Selling Point or USP.