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.
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