Branding Essentials By Aashish Pahwa / October 31, 2017 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. A brand 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 color (red and white), and the experience (happiness, joy), to make 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 Surf Excel starts producing soft drinks. Will you buy it? Customers buy a brand. The tangible product is not the sole reason 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, color, 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 a contact with the brand.Branding and its ConceptsBrand, just like living beings, have certain traitsBrand AssociationThe intangible product features like the logo, color scheme, ambassadors, owners, etc. which are associated with the product. They help in the positioning of the product. Brand NameThe part of the brand which gives it a spoken identity. Just like a person’s name.Brand AttributesThe 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.Brand IdentityHow 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.Brand ImageThe image of the brand in the customers’ mind. How they perceive the brand.Brand PersonalityJust 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.Brand VoiceThe 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.Brand PositioningWhere does the brand stand among the competition? Positioning is the distinctive/unique position of the brand in the market/consumers’ mind.Brand ExperienceHow 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 AwarenessIt is the extent to which consumers are acquainted with the particular brand.Brand RecallBrand 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 RecognitionBrand 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)Brand ValueAs 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.Brand EquityThe 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.Brand ManagementThe process of maintaining and management of a brand.Brand CultureA theory where brand operates as a culture. It has its own set of values, its guidelines, do’s and don’ts, etc.Brand PromiseThe benefits and experience which a business promises to associate with a brand.Brand MessageMessage used to express the brand promise.Brand AmbassadorA person/group of persons hired by the organization to represent a brand.Customer touch pointsA touch-point is where the brand and the customer interacts. Learn more about Customer touch points here.Go On, Tell Us What You Think!Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think of this article in the comment section.