To make it sound simple, we consider branding as the way some one feels about your product, company or business. Just like any person. You would like to deal with someone about whom you have a better perception. And there could be infinite reasons for that. The way the person presents himself/ herself is definitely one of the reason.
There are a number of interpretations of the term brand. They are summarized as follows:
- A brand is simply a logo e.g. McDonald’s Golden Arches.
- A brand is a legal instrument, existing in a similar way to a patent or copyright.
- A brand is a company e.g. Coca-Cola.
- A brand is shorthand – not as straightforward. Here a brand that is perceived as having benefits in the mind of the consumer is recognised and acts as a shortcut to circumvent large chunks of information. So when searching for a product or service in less familiar surroundings you will conduct an information search. A recognised brand will help you reach a decision more conveniently.
- A brand is a risk reducer. The brand reassures you when in unfamiliar territory.
- A brand is positioning. It is situated in relation to other brands in the mind of the consumer as better, worse, quicker, slower, etc.
- A brand is a personality, beyond function e.g. Apple’s iPod versus just any MP3 player.
- A brand is a cluster of values e.g. Google is reliable, ethical, invaluable, innovative and so on.
- A brand is a vision. Here managers aspire to see a brand with a cluster of values. In this context vision is similar to goal or mission.
- A brand is added value, where the consumer sees value in a brand over and above its competition e.g. Audi over Volkswagen, and Volkswagen over Skoda – despite similarities.