Branding is one of the most important aspects of marketing a product. These decisions take place before a product is launched in the market. The logo, name, symbol, tag line, color combination on the box are all very integral parts of Branding. Whenever a company is launching a new product, the idea behind it is to make the product more attractive and desirable as compared to its competitors’ products. This can be achieved by obtaining a distinctive identity and tapping the uniqueness of their product. If a company does not aim at making their product unique, it is bound to get lost in a sea of “me too” products.
Brandingstrategyinsider.com says, too many brands tout “a clichéd, unsubstantiated, meaningless point of difference (such as, we are the quality leader or the service leader or the innovation leader or, worst of all, just the leader).” (VanAuken 2014)
Thus, every company should try and make their brand stand out in order to be competitive in the marketplace.
Another problem faced by companies is the inconsistency in the message and ideas they want to communicate with their prospective customers. Some brands fail to leave a positive, firm and lasting impression in the minds of the public due to erratic application of images, taglines ,colors etc. in their marketing campaigns. Some famous examples of this are :-
- Electrolux at one time marketed their vacuum cleaners in USA with the tagline: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” which was interpreted as being very vulgar by the public.
- KFC made Chinese customers very anxious when their tagline “Finger lickin’ good” was translated as “Eat your fingers off”
- Nike had to recall thousand of pairs of sneakers when a symbol-cum-decoration on the back of its shoe designed to look like fire resembled the Arabic word for Allah.Selling just the physical utility of a product doesn’t guarantee success nowadays unlike a couple of decades ago. Consumers care a lot more about their association to a product so it’s branding is very significant. The following video provides a glimpse on how branding has evolved and gained so much importance-
Brand management should be one of the key agendas of the Marketing department of an organisation. Whenever a company introduces a new product in the market, they should be looking to establish a connection with the audience. The case of Pepsi is a great manifestation of this. They have targeted the youth in their advertisements and campaigns and have succeeded in establishing and improving the relationship over the years. One-fourth of its monumental success can be attributed to their mega-marketing initiatives.
Apart from the utility that a new product offers to provide, the companies also need to tap into why a customer would prefer their product rather than a similar product already available in the market. This aspect of a product is called the unique selling proposition (USP). Mimicking the look or symbols of already established brands and products could be fatal for an organisation since it could land them up in lawsuits and legal battles. There are a lot of costs involved in branding so these decisions have to be taken very carefully.
Actually just the mere symbol, packaging or logos don’t constitute a brand. Every single activity that a company undertakes play a part on how a brand is perceived by the target audience. It was very rightly said that: “Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…” (Schultz and Yang, 1997)
The picture below explains the various facets that comprise a particular brand:-
- VanAuken, Brad. “The Twenty Most Common Brand Problems.” The Blake Project, July 2014.
- Schultz, H. and Yang, D. (1997).Pour your heart into it. New York, NY: Hyperion.