What is a Brand?
Brand is defined by the American Marketing Association as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”.
* Traditionally, a brand is known to include a range of elements, such as the name, logo, tagline or catchphrase, shapes, graphics, color, sounds, movement, smells and taste.**
A brand is a relationship between the seller and the customer, in that brands bring out a psychological or emotional response from the target audience. An example of this would be when an individual observes a logo; that of Coca-Cola® for instance, and immediately responds to it by deciding to quench his thirst by purchasing the soft drink. The company has built such a strong brand, delivering the promise to quench thirst without fail that consumers just know their need will be satisfied.
However, a logo by itself is not to be confused with a brand; rather, logos are representations of the brands themselves. Often, they are at the forefront when it comes to brand identity, visual brand identity to be exact. Brand identity is defined as how brand owners wantthe brand to be perceived by consumers. The brand image, on the other hand, is how the brand is actually perceived by the consumers. The onus is on the brand owner to match brand identity with brand image, and they do this by understanding the target audience’s needs and wants. Nevertheless, there are customer experiences and perceptions that cannot be completely influenced.
It is important to note, though, that brands are not concrete and are always developing. Companies have to be mindful each day that they are either improving their brand by continuously fulfilling their promise or injuring it by failing to do so.
Brand awareness is defined as “the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence and availability of a company’s product or service” by Investopedia.*** Consumers will not consider any brand that they are not aware of, therefore it is of the utmost importance to companies, no matter the service or product they are selling. Aside from advertising, brand awareness can be created by means of direct marketing, product placement, Internet presence, word-of-mouth, and many more.
Below are some of the benefits derived from branding, both internal and external.
- Recognition – Companies enjoy the benefit of recognition by having a strong brand name and image.
- Credibility – Businesses that make an effort to build their brand are perceived to be more reliable, credible and trustworthy than their unbranded counterparts. Consumers will always believe a branded product to be of higher quality than an unbranded one.
- Loyalty – A strong brand inspires loyalty in customers. Consumers are more likely to repeatedly purchase a product, or the related products of the same brand of a company they trust.
It is important for businesses to determine their principles and goals and to subsequently act on these principles, delivering on the promises that they make to consumers, in order to successfully build their brand.
We hope you found this post useful and informative. It’s certainly an important subject to keep in the forefront of your mind when looking to build on your businesses success and any marketing you may look to achieve. It’s always welcomed to develop or refresh a brand, to keep up with the times.