Some Notes on Branding

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I.INTRODUCTION
Branding is a plan for earning product reputation and for making sure that the world knows about it and believes in it too. •“Branding is the process by which companies distinguish their product offerings from the competition. Brands are created by creating a distinctive name, packaging and design.” (Egan & Thomas, 1998) •1st Brand name= Bass [beer], because British were the 1st with trademark registration. •Customers (particularly consumers) view a brand as an important part of a product and branding can add value to a product. A brand can provide a guarantee of reliability and quality, in fact. Ex. Chanel perfume bottle.

II.BRAND EQUITY
Brands vary in the amount of power and value they have in the market place. Strong brands have high brand equity. Brand equity is the value of a brand based on the extent to which it has high brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality, strong brand associations and other assets such as patents, trademarks and channel relationships. •According to Barwise, et. al. (1990), measuring the actual equity of a brand name is difficult. “The only time you can be sure of the value of your brand is just after you have sold it” - Jeremy Bullmore, WPP Group [London-based advertising holding company] •Therefore, perhaps it is better to define brand equity as “the extra value that customers perceive in a brand that ultimately builds long term loyalty.” (Burk, 2007)

Brand Equity Pyramid by Keller (2003)
Higher brand equity provides the business with many competitive advantages: (1) products become more price inelastic, (2) lower marketing costs, (3) more leverage when bargaining with retailers. •Interbrand list of most valuable brands 2007: (1) Coca Cola $65 billion, (2) Microsoft $58 billion, (3) IBM $57 billion •Brands increasingly viewed as the major enduring asset of a company, outlasting the company’s specific products and facilities. “If this business would be split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would keep the brands and trademarks and I would fare better than you” -John Stewart, co-founder of Quaker Oats [one of the first companies to have its products branded in USA] •Companies therefore sometimes appoint brand equity managers to guard their brand’s images.

III.BRAND DECISIONS

1.BRAND POSITIONING
If a company treats a brand only as a name, it is missing the point of branding. A name ‘becomes a brand.’ Customers associate the brand with a set of intangible and tangible benefits [rather than attributes] that they obtain from a product. A brand can also say something about the buyer’s values, and represent a certain culture. The most lasting and sustainable meanings of a brand are its core values and personality. A brand is the company’s promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits, services and experiences consistently to the buyer. It should be simple and honest. e.g. Sleep Inn promises cleanliness, low prices, good service but NOT the luxury that Ritz Carlton promises. Ritz Carlton, however, does not promise low prices.

2.BRAND NAME SELECTION
Brand ≠ Name Recognition. That said, a good name can add greatly to a product’s success. Desirable Qualities for brand names:
1. It should say something about the product’s benefits and qualities. Nintendo’s product Wii sounds like ‘We’. It brings people together. 2. It should be easy to pronounce, recognise and remember. e.g. Dove 3. The brand name should be distinctive. e.g. Shell, Kodak, Virgin 4. It should translate easily (and meaningfully into other languages) NOT LIKE Mitsubishi ‘Pajero’ which is a slang term for “wanker” in Spanish. 5. It should be capable of registration and legal protection. NOT LIKE Miller ‘Lite’ (Lite/Light are generic terms) or Wrigley’s Doublemint (‘double’ and ‘mint’ are two words that may well be used together descriptively) Selecting viable brand logos that reinforce brand image is of course also a...
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