What is a Brand? What Are Brand Elements?
A brand is a product, service, person, company, or a concept which has characteristics like a name, symbol, etc. to be differentiated from others in the market. It is what makes the product identifiable and differentiable.
Branding isn’t new. We’ve been branding people since the start. They had a face (identity), were given names, people around them had an image of them in their minds, etc. Branding of products started a bit later though.
It all started with brand names, other characteristics were put to use eventually. E.g. Coca-Cola had to include different brand characteristics like – a different bottle shape, the colour (red and white), and an experience of happiness and joy to develop its own identity.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is the combination of properties within and outside a product which gives an identity to the generic product. It cannot be separated from the product.
Imagine if Tide starts producing soft drinks. Will you buy it?
Customers buy a brand. The tangible product is not the only reason customers buy anymore. It’s now an important part of the brand.
Will you buy Coca-Cola, without any label, in a Sprite’s bottle?
The market is full of similar products. To make a product stand out, one needs to assign to it some identification properties. Such identification properties include certain associations like name, logo, colour, and many other attributes. These branding attributes give the product a certain personality, certain voice, etc, position the product at some distinctive place in the consumers’ mind, and give them an experience whenever they have contact with the brand.
A brand, just like living beings, has certain traits. These are –
The intangible features like the logo, colour scheme, ambassadors, owners, etc. which are associated with the product. They help in the positioning of the product.
The part of the brand which gives it a spoken identity. Just like a person’s name.
The characteristics of a brand. The core values of the brand. To be a strong brand the brand should have some characteristics (attributes) like relevancy, consistency, appeal, sustainable, credibility, etc.
How an organization feels of its brand. It’s basically an image of the brand from the company’s point of view. That is, how it wants the customer to perceive its brand.
The image of the brand in the customers’ mind. How they perceive the brand.
Just like humans, brands have a way they speak and behave. Brand personality is basically the human personality traits of the brand. E.g. honest, caring, luxurious, etc.
The way a brand speaks to its customers. It is that unique and constant feature included in every brand decision which makes your customer recognize it and differentiate it from others. (E.g. Sprite, in India, has a unique brand voice of being straightforward in everything) Brand voice gives rise to the personality.
Where does the brand stand among the competition? Positioning is the distinctive/unique position of the brand in the market/consumers’ mind.
How customers/consumers experience the brands when they search for, shop for, or consume the brand. It includes the sensations, feelings, responses evoked by a brand whenever the consumer interacts with it.
Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers are acquainted with a particular brand.
Brand Recall is the ability of consumers to recognize the brand when the product category is mentioned. (E.g. coca cola is recalled when soft drinks are mentioned)
Brand Recognition is the ability of consumers to recognize the brand when asked questions about that brand or when shown products of that brand. (E.g. a product is shown to you and you’re asked if you’ve seen this before or not or do you remember its name or not)
As the phrase states – Brand value is the value of the ‘Brand’ over and above the tangible product. That is, how much extra will a customer pay (in monetary terms) if he gets the product of a specified brand.
The impact of a brand on the purchasing decision of a customer. Brand equity is a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, which adds to or subtracts from the value provided by a product or service. It is how the business is affected because of perceptions, attitudes, and preference of the customers towards the brand. Brand equity is difficult to estimate.
The process of maintaining and management of a brand.
A theory where the brand operates as a culture. It has its own set of values, its guidelines, do’s and don’ts, etc.
The benefits and experience which a business promises to associate with a brand.
The message used to express the brand promise.
A person/group of persons hired by the organization to represent a brand.
Customer touch points
A customer touch-point is where the brand and the customer interacts.
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