A Research Paper on the Art of Modern Branding
Branding is a complicated art form with a lot of misconceptions that have been created by an overall lack of understanding from most people. The confusion is understandable because modern branding has developed into a very broad and subjective concept; and yet, throughout history it has become one of the most important and prevalent aspects of our global society. The definition of branding according to A businessdictionary.com is: “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme” (4). Branding has been around since the first civilizations all the way up to present day; all the while, the factors that are needed to make a brand successful adapting in concurrence with changes in societal trends. Branding is an adaptable art form that has been a requisite component of society since the the origins of civilization in which businesses strategically shape the perception consumers have of their integrity, products and services.
The art of branding has continuously evolved throughout history. The foremost practices of branding are dated back to the earliest known civilizations, as evidenced by the oldest example of branding discovered: a personalised stone seal found in Mesopotamia dated at approximately 8,000 years old (8). In addition to Mesopotamian ancient branding: Babylonian barkers gave sales pitches to prospective customers as goods arrived on ships, written advertisements on walls in Pompeii survived the fire that destroyed the city, and merchants from multiple civilizations used pictorial signs that informed about a merchant’s products as Mesopotamian Carved Stone Stopper (8)
a way to advertise to illiterate customers (9). With the dissolution of the Ancient Roman Empire brought the end to the ancient time period and the start of the Medieval Ages. In the preliminary stages of the Middle Ages, European commerce fell hindering the evolution of branding. Then, in the thirteenth century, the creation of craft guilds and the emergence of the middle class revitalized craft in Medieval Europe and stimulated the progression branding. Craft guilds made proprietary marks mandatory and prompted the first trademark laws for distinction of goods and services (9). Furthermore, merchants started the practice of paying town criers to advertise their products, paper handbills were used as advertisements, and businesses that identified the merchant and type of business (9). Concurrently during the Middle Ages, Medieval China developed their own early forms of advertising and brand identification. Demonstrated through: printed wrappers, banners, painted lanterns, painted pictures, signboards, and printed advertisements (9). Following this time period was the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought a period of great advancement in the art of branding. All of the advancements were made because of the rise of mass production, the price of goods falling, and construction of transcontinental railroads. Due to these factors, companies were able to expand from a local market to a national market, which created the mass market (9). The start of mass distribution marked a time where the majority of the products starting to spread throughout the national market offered similar quality and cost. For this reason, there was a new need for companies to create brand identities that consumers would recognize amid their homogenous competitors. In this time period, brands developed their identity with their logo, packaging, trademarks, labels and advertising (9). Not only did businesses start needing to create distinct brand identities but also brand loyalty to help the sale of existing and future products to a base of repeat customers (1). Consumers during the Industrial Revolution wanted brands that were reliable, trustworthy,...
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