This article is about brands in marketing. For other uses, see Brand (disambiguation)
A brand represents the holistic sum of all information about a product or group of products. This symbolic construct typically consists of a name, identifying mark, logo, visual images or symbols, or mental concepts which distinguishes the product or service. A brand often carries connotations of a product's "promise", the product or service’s point of difference among its competitors which makes it special and unique. Marketers attempt through a brand to give a product a "personality" or an "image". Thus, they hope to "brand", or burn, the image into the consumer's mind; that is, associate the image with the product's quality. Because of this, a brand can form an important element of an advertising theme: it serves as a quick way to show and tell consumers what a supplier has offered to the market.
Well known products acquire brand recognition. When a brand has accumulated a mass of positive sentiment among consumers, marketers say that its owner has acquired brand equity or brand franchise. Brand equity measures the brand's value to the marketer. It is an assessment of the investment a company has made in a brand. Brand franchise measures the effect of this investment on the target market. When enough brand equity is created that the brand has the ability to draw buyers (even without further advertising), it is said to have brand franchise. A brand name comprises that part of a brand consisting of words or letters that humans can verbalize. A brand name that has acquired legal protection becomes a trademark.
Branding has become part of pop culture. Numerous products have a brand identity: from common table salt to designer clothes. Non_commercially, branding can also apply to the marketing of entities which supply ideas or promises rather than goods and services __ such as political parties or religious organizations.
Consumers as a group may look on the brand as an important aspect of a product, and it can also add value to a product or service. It carries the reputation of a product or company. A branded laundry detergent may sell twice as much product as a store-brand detergent. Although the two products may resemble each other closely in almost every other respect, people have learned to regard the branded product as superior. In some cases they believe that because it costs more it offers better quality.
Advertising spokespersons have also became part of some brands, for example: Mr. Whipple of Charmin toilet tissue and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg’s.
Brands originated with the 19th-century advent of packaged Industrialization moved the production of many household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. These factories, cursed with mass_produced goods, needed to sell their products in a wider market, to a customer base familiar only with local goods. It quickly became apparent that a generic package of soap had difficulty competing with familiar, local products. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince the market that the public could place just as much trust in the non_local product.
Many brands of that era, such as Uncle Ben's rice and Kellogg's breakfast cereal furnish illustrations of the problem. The manufacturers wanted their products to appear and feel as familiar as the local farmers' produce. From there, with the help of advertising, manufacturers quickly learned to associate other kinds of brand values, such as youthfulness, fun or luxury, with their products. This kickstarted the practice we now know as "branding".
Examples of prominent brand names
The 2001 ranking of the 100 most valuable brands worldwide by Business Week magazine contained 62 American, 30 European, and 6 Japanese brands.
Criticisms of branding
Criticism has been leveled against the concept and implementation of brands, much of it associated with the "antiglobalization" movement. One of the better known criticisms of branding is found in Naomi Klein's book, No Logo. The book claims that corporations' brands serve as structures for corporations to hide behind, and that such global problems as sweatshop labor and environmental degradation have been permitted and exacerbated by branding.
Criticism of branding also comes from within corporations, with some employees becoming frustrated by being limited by overall brand strategies that restrict what they can say, how they say it, and what Pantone colour to say it in. Some shareholders also have concerns about the amount of money invested in branding.
- Miller & Muir (2004) The Business of Brands ISBN 0470862599 - Examines how brands can create value for businesses
- Olins, W (2003) On Brand ISBN 0500285152
- Corporate Identity Documentation (English) (http://www.cidoc.net/)
- Brandchannel - Online exchange about branding (English) (http://www.brandchannel.com/)
- Allaboutbranding.com (English) (http://www.allaboutbranding.com)
- BusinessWeek 2002 Global Brands Scorecard (http://bwnt.businessweek.com/brand/2002/index.asp)
- Logo Design Services Directory (http://www.logoterra.com)
- Brandmarker (http://www.monochrom.at/markenzeichnen/index-eng.htm) - The art group monochrom attempted to evaluate the actual power of commercial brands by making people draw famous logos from memory.
- A Website about Corporate Identity (English) (http://users.ncrvnet.nl/mstol/)
- Trade Names (http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/browse/tradenames/) in Webster's Online Dictionary (http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org) - the Rosetta Edition
- Corporate Identity Portal (German/English) (http://www.ci-portal.de/)
- I like Brands (http://www.globalizationinstitute.org/articles/000042.php) on the Globalization Institute (http://www.globalizationinstitute.org/) website