A Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of these elements intended to identify the goods or services of a seller and differentiate them from competitors. A brand name is the part of a brand that can be vocalized. A brand mark is the part o f a brand that can be recognized but is not utterable, such as a symbol, design, or distinctive coloring or lettering.
The brand is the most important asset of a company, for all the hard assets can be lost but everything can be re-built if the brand is intact. A brand is more than just product or services, it implies trust, consistency, and a defined set of expectations. Brands signal a certain level of quality so that satisfied buyers can easily choose the product again. Brand loyalty provides predictability and security of demand for the firm, and it creates barriers to entry that make it difficult for other firms to enter the market. Loyalty to a brand can translate into customer willingness to pay a higher price-often to 25 percent more than competing brands. In this sense branding can be a powerful means to secure a competitive advantage. The strongest brands in the world own a place in the customer's mind and when they are mentioned almost everyone thinks of the same things. The most important question a company should ask is "What does the brand stand for in the customer's mind?"
So what is brand Equity and how is it created? It is the added value endowed on products or services. It is reflected in the way consumers think, feel, and act with respect to the brand, as well as in the prices, market share, and profitability the brand commands for the firm. How do you build brand equity depends on what customers see, read, hear, learn, think and feel about the brand over time. There are three key ingredients of customer-based brand equity:
1. Brand Equity arises from differences in consumer response.
If no differences occur, then the brand name product is essentially a commodity or generic version of the product. Competition will probably be based on price.
2. Differences in response are a result of consumer's knowledge about the brand.
Brand knowledge consist of all the thoughts, feelings, images, experiences, beliefs, and so on, that become associated with the brand. In particular, brands must create strong, favorable and unique brand associations with customers.
3. The differential response by consumers that make up brand equity is all about perceptions.
This is created through the perceptions, preferences, and behavior related to all aspects of the marketing of a brand. Stronger brands lead to greater revenue. The key challenge in building a strong brand is therefore ensuring that customers receive the right type of experiences with products, services, and their marketing programs to create the desired brand knowledge.
In conclusion your brand is the major enduring asset of a company, outlasting the company's specific products and facilites. From the perspective of brand equity, branding is all about creating a brand promise, and at the end of the day, the true value and future prospects of a brand rest with consumers, their knowledge about the band, and their likely response to marketing activity as a result of this knowledge.
SEED Branding Studio