Branding Process; Brand Selection, Brand positioning, Co-Branding & Brand Protection
What is a Brand?
A brand is the sum total of all the ideas, expectations, images, and feelings that pop into a customer’s mind when they see or hear the trademark.
A brand is a promise to deliver a benefit that, when fulfilled, will build a relationship with your consumers.
It is the composite of all the experiences related to a trademark, and it is unique in each customer’s mind.
What is a Trademark
A trademark is a word symbol or device used to identify goods and services, distinguish them from others, and indicate those goods’ source.
It gives the company the exclusive legal rights to the brand, and it functions as a cue to the customer.
Brands are more than just names and symbols. They are a key element of the marketing mix, and all 4Ps are associated with the brand and the brand to the 4Ps.
When crafted properly, brands and trademarks are valuable assets to the company.
This is one of the most recognizable brands.
It is both the name of a company and the brand for its products. Forbes magazine recently published its annual study on the world’s most valuable brands, coming as no surprise to most frontrunners.
Apple top the list of branding behemoths for the ninth year running, amassing an eye-watering brand value of $205.5 billion, up 12% from the previous year.
So why is it a successful Brand? The minimalist logo is simple, scalable, and instantly recognizable.
The bitten apple design also holds a couple of meanings, the biblical one of biting into an apple from the tree of knowledge and the computer lingo, one of taking a bite of data.
Jenoff refers to these references as a wink in the logo, which he sees as crucial and logo designs. Any time you can add any humor, it becomes more likable and memorable.
If you’re so afraid to give a wink, then you’re going to be pretty much beige like everything else, especially in the age of the Internet.
Another recognizable global brand is Coca Cola.
According to Forbes, Coca Cola is the world’s sixth most valuable brand, worth over $80.8 billion.
This success did not happen overnight. Coca Cola has been stable since the 1800s, and so has its logo.
The company name has been written in a similar spent Syrian script since 1887. While it has been tweaked since then, the changes have been minor, and the consistent imagery from generation to generation has given coke a deserved sense of stability and tradition.
So why is it a successful brand?
Color psychology tells us that a bold, bright red color in marketing is known to trigger impulse purchases.
Meanwhile, the white cursive text suggests a certain sweeping romance and return to a more classic day and age, which is valid since the brand and logo have truly stood the test of time.
Brands are powerful assets and must be carefully developed and managed with continual investment. Building strong brands involves many challenging decisions.
Brand positioning is one of the major brand strategy decisions. Keep in mind that good brand work can only come after the marketer has done a great job at market research, segmentation, and targeting.
Marketers need to position their brands clearly and target customers’ minds. They can position brands at any of three-level at the lowest level to position their brand on attributes.
For example, PNG invented the disposable diaper category with its Pampers brand.
In the early days of this, brand marketing focused on attributes like fluid, absorption, fit, and disposability.
In general, however, attributes are the least desirable level for brand positioning.
Competitors can easily copy attributes, but even more importantly, customers are not interested in attributes.
As such, they are interested in the attributes conducted for them. A brand can be better positioned by associating its name with a desirable benefit.
Similarly, Pampers can go beyond technical product attributes and talk about the resulting containment and baby skin health benefits from staying dry.
Some successful brands positioned on benefits include FedEx, guaranteed on-time delivery, Nike performance, Wal Mart Save money, and Instagram capturing and sharing moments.
The strongest brands go beyond attributes or benefit positioning. They are positioning on strong beliefs and values, engaging customers on a deep emotional level.
For example, two parents Pampers mean much more than just containment and dryness. The Pampers website positions Pampers as a love sleep play brand concerned about Happy babies, parent-child relationships, and total baby care, says a former PNG executive.
Our baby business didn’t start growing aggressively until we change Pampers from being about dryness to helping Mom with her baby’s development.
Successful brands engage customers on a deep emotional level.
Brand Name Selection Process
A good name can add greatly to the product’s success. However, finding the best brand name is a difficult task.
It begins with a careful review of the product and benefits the target market and marketing strategies. There are two schools of thought regarding choosing a name.
One group suggests choosing a name that has no meaning behind it. The marketer will assign the meaning such as Yahoo or Google.
The other school of thought is to assign a name with meaning like silk as a brand for soy milk or smart water for beverages.
Once chosen, it’s vital to research the name to be capable of registration and legal protection and not be culturally insensitive or inappropriate.
A brand name cannot be registered if it infringes on existing brand names, and once chosen, the name must be protected and invested in by the company.
Many firms try to build a brand that will eventually become identified with the product category, like Kleenex, Scotch tape, etcetera.
As you build your brands, you need to have a brand promise that resonates with the target customer.
A brand promise is a value or experience a company’s customers can expect to receive every time they interact with it. The more a company can deliver on that promise, the stronger the brand value in the mind of customers and employee
The brand promise should have four characteristics.
Characteristics of Brand Promise
- It should be relevant to the target customer, addressing the need that is experienced by the customer.
- It should be compelling to that customer by providing a benefit that causes them to purchase the product.
- It should be different than the competition, and
- The brand promise should be believable, meaning that the customer can see or experience brand attributes and benefits.
A few other terms you need to understand that refer to brands are these three names.
Co-branding occurs when two established brand names of different companies are used on the same product.
Because each brand operates differently, the combined brands create broader consumer appeal and greater brand equity.
Examples of Co-Branding
For example, Benjamin Moore and Pottery Barn joined forces to create a special collection of Benjamin Moore paint colors to perfectly coordinate with Pottery Barn’s unique furnishing and accents.
Or you may be familiar with Taco Bell and Doritos teaming up to create the Doritos Locos tacos. With line extensions, the company must decide if it will extend its existing brand names to new forms, colors, sizes, ingredients, etcetera of an existing product category.
For example, KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken has extended its finger-licking good chicken to chicken tenders, hot wings, chicken bites, etcetera and
Finally, brand extensions extend a current brand name to new or modified products in a new category; for example, Nike started as sports shoes, but the brand has been extended to sports clothes, water bottles, and tennis balls.
But would it be appropriate to launch Nike cigarettes?
No, because cigarettes don’t adhere to Nike’s brand promise, bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
A brand should focus on 4 areas.
- Relevant in the customer’s minds, which means talking to the customers and asking them what the brand means to them.
- If the customers will recommend the brand to others.
- Getting the customers loyal to the brand so loyal that they will not choose a competitive brand if your brand isn’t around.
- Focus is the visibility that the brand is top of mind to the customers and has eased acquiring it.
Marketers need to be listening and talking to the customers to be sure they prefer their brand over all other brands.
Importance of a Good Branding
When done well, a strong brand can provide great benefits to the company.
A well designed and communicated brand makes it instantly recognizable to consumers to purchase it with ease.
Strong brands provide trust to the consumer that when he acquires the brand to do a job, that job will be done well every time.
Competitive playing fields can be intense, and a brand can differentiate a product from the crowd so that price isn’t the only deciding factor.
Brands can provide leverage to get distribution in the most attractive stores and websites, and
Brand names and logos are subject to trademark laws and ensure the protection of their uniqueness.
Can you identify the brands from the trademark brands?
Nike, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, Red Bull, New Balance?
At times, brands may seem like more of an art than a science, but it can provide great value to a company for many years when done well invested in and maintained.