Branding is the use of a symbol, name, design or it could be a combination of these to identify a product or a business. Branding started in Europe during the middle ages where a group of people with similar interest (merchants) got together (very similar to trade unions) so that they could control the quantity and quality of a good or service. Each person involved in this group had to mark their product so that output could be cut back when necessary. This helped to identify merchants that delivered poor quality products. In other words it separated the good merchants from the bad. It also provided protection for the buyer who could identify the product to the merchant.
To achieve optimum advantage when deciding on a brand, the consumer’s perspective must be taken into account. Well recognized brands make shopping easier. Buying a car for example, it would be impossible if consumers had to evaluate the disadvantages and advantages of each of the tens of thousands of cars every time they went to a car dealer. Consumers are always willing to buy new items but if they are not rewarded, they would buy from a known brand.
Branding is a process that is used by the businesses to utilize marketing strategies to enhance their product or service image so that it is more readily recollected by the customer. Branding helps the product or service to make a favorable impact on the target customer while the branding concepts help in outlining the guidelines that should be followed during the branding process.
Building a brand helps customers in their decision-making, creating a perceived knowledge of what they are going to buy, before they buy it. Brands are based on three related criteria. Confidence in a business, product or service doing exactly what the customer already believes it will do. For example, a 24-hour convenience store brand can be based on customers' confidence that it will be open, whatever the time of day or night. The emotional response of the customer to purchasing a product or service. For example, a clothing retailer can create a brand based around making its customers feel good about what they wear, how they look, how good they feel about buying clothes from that shop and what it says about them to their peers. A brand builds a unique personality for a business, and therefore attracts a defined type of customer. Most importantly, branding is based on consistently rewarding the confidence and delivering the expected emotional response. For example, a domestic cleaning company can build its brand successfully if customers' homes are always thoroughly cleaned, the owners believe that they are using the best cleaning company and feel good about returning to their newly cleaned homes.
Branding of any product and service should follow some constants that help in establishing a brand in the long run. The branding strategies should have the following constants :
❑ Branding should be simple
The most popular brands in the world have very simple, easy to remember logos. The reason behind this concept is, we tend to remember and associate ourselves with simple things and choose to ignore or forget complex ideas.
❑ Branding should be different
Your brand should have individuality, should be different. The brand should stand out from other similar product or service; otherwise the whole idea of branding is lost. Only an individualistic brand makes a mark on the psyche of the target customer and he remembers it when he makes a buying decision. This is why most of the MNCs take strict action on trademark violations.
❑ Branding should be safe
Play safe and do your research if you are catering to international audience. If you are using symbols in your logo make sure they do not offend the target market in any way or you can chances of shutting your shop before making any sales. Therefore keep the regional and cultural...