Effect of Brands on Customer Preferences

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INTRODUCTION:
OVERVIEW OF A BRAND
The word ‘Brand’ has become a part of peoples’ basic vocabulary. The words’ meaning changes when it is used in different contexts. Sometimes it is a noun, as in “That is my brand of choice,” and sometimes it is a verb, as in “Let’s brand this campaign.” It has become synonymous with the name of the company, the consumer’s experience of the company, the consumers experience of the company’s products and the consumer’s expectations. Brands are embedded in peoples’ daily lives, as they use the names of the brands as if they are a part of the vocabulary. Consumers mostly use the brand names as verbs or nouns unaware that they use them. When someone uses the word “Walkman” to describe a portable CD or cassette player, it is not important whether they use a real Sony Walkman or not.
Numerous authors have presented definitions for a brand. Kotler defined it as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”. Murphy identified a brand as a product or service of a particular supplier that is differentiated by its name and presentation. According to Kapferer, a brand has two different functions: to distinguish products from each other and to indicate a product’s origin. Although there are many definitions for a brand, they do not contain the whole meaning of what a brand is. Morgan defined it as, “A brand is one of the most important design equities owned by a company.” It is the visual identity, but is more than the logos, labels, colours, names, pack shapes or slogans unique to the company. When considering a new product which has just been introduced to the marketplace, we see that it has a name, logo and unique packaging. However the brand does not yet truly exist. Names, logos and design are not a brand because the product does not yet have a history. A brand is formed over time, through

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