Brands are different from products in a way that brands are “what the consumers buy”, while products are “what concern/companies make”. Brand is an accumulation of emotional and functional associations. Brand is a promise that the product will perform as per customer’s expectations. It shapes customer’s expectations about the product. Brands usually have a trademark which protects them from use by others. A brand gives particular information about the organization, good or service, differentiating it from others in marketplace. Brand carries an assurance about the characteristics that make the product or service unique. A strong brand is a means of making people aware of what the company represents and what are it’s offerings.
To a consumer, brand means and signifies:
* Source of product
* Delegating responsibility to the manufacturer of product
* Lower risk
* Less search cost
* Quality symbol
* Deal or pact with the product manufacturer
* Symbolic device
Brands simplify consumers purchase decision. Over a period of time, consumers discover the brands which satisfy their need. If the consumers recognize a particular brand and have knowledge about it, they make quick purchase decision and save lot of time. Also, they save search costs for product. Consumers remain committed and loyal to a brand as long as they believe and have an implicit understanding that the brand will continue meeting their expectations and perform in the desired manner consistently. As long as the consumers get benefits and satisfaction from consumption of the product, they will more likely continue to buy that brand. Brands also play a crucial role in signifying certain product features to consumers.
To a seller, brand means and signifies:
* Basis of competitive advantage
* Way of bestowing products with unique associations
* Way of identification to easy handling
* Way of legal protection of products’ unique traits/features
* Sign of quality to satisfied customer
* Means of financial returns
A brand, in short, can be defined as a seller’s promise to provide consistently a unique set of characteristics, advantages, and services to the buyers/consumers. It is a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of all these planned to differentiate the goods/services of one seller or group of sellers from those of competitors
Brand Management definition:
The process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand so that the name is associated with positive results. Brand management involves a number of important aspects such as cost, customer satisfaction, in-store presentation, and competition. Brand management is built on a marketing foundation, but focuses directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favorable to customers. Proper brand management can result in higher sales of not only one product, but on other products associated with that brand.
Features of a Good Brand Name
A good brand name should have following characteristics:
1. It should be unique/ distinctive (for instance- Kodak, Mustang)
2. It should be extendable.
3. It should be easy to pronounce, identified and memorized. (For instance-Tide)
4. It should give an idea about product’s qualities and benefits (For instance- Swift, Quickfix, Lipguard).
5. It should be easily convertible into foreign languages.
6. It should be capable of legal protection and registration.
7. It should suggest product/service category (For instance Newsweek).
8. It should indicate concrete qualities (For instance Firebird).
9. It should not portray bad/wrong meanings in other categories. (For instance NOVA is a poor name for a car to be sold in Spanish country, because in Spanish it means “doesn’t go”).