The term ‘Brand’ has been bandied about a lot and in turn it has taken a life of its own. Nowadays any big company such as Coca-Cola, Apple, Samsung are all known as brands.
So, what is a brand exactly?
A brand is a symbol that will help differentiate your concept from the rest of the concepts present in the market that you compete in. At its core, a brand is a standard set by the best of the best from each market segment and what the consumer can expect when they initiate a transaction with such companies.
Another alternative for the definition of a brand is as given by David Ogilvy, a renowned advertising executive, wherein he states that a brand is the intangible sum of its attributes. This definition has been widely accepted by all professionals in the market because there are a lot of attributes to a brand that cannot be seen nor touched or heard. One such example would be the emotion a product evokes when it reaches the hands of a consumer.
The whole association of an emotion to a brand is not some new discovery, lots of brands do this to help their consumers evoke their brand when they feel the emotion outside of contact with their products. Brands do not directly tell their consumers what it is that they should feel when they interact with their products but they subliminally feed this emotion into their consumers via the message and other marketing activities they take on.
Some examples of emotions being attached to brands could be a sense of childlike joy and magic for Disney, feeling of thrill and an adrenaline rush could be associated to the Red Bull brand, and finally a sense of curiosity for Google.
Another factor that comes into play for a brand is that the intangible sum is not the same for every consumer. Each consumer has their own emotions but they are generally directed towards it by the brand, hence the brand identity of a company isn’t necessarily a static one as it can take on a personal meaning depending on the consumer that interacts with it.
Marketing activities that a company does present a great opportunity to direct consumers in the direction the company wants them to move in. This is so because every interaction a consumer has with the brand will help them reevaluate the perception they have towards that brand. Hence there are two things to keep in mind when marketing campaigns are designed for a brand:
Inconsistent content being put out by a brand will lead to its audience having a hard time figure out what the message really means. The goal of any marketing campaign undertaken by the brand should be to help make it easy for audiences to come up with an impression of the brand as well as understanding the qualities the brand represents. For this to happen all messages that are to be put out during the course of the campaign have to be consistent and in tune with the messaging the brand wishes to portray.
Almost all branding is rooted in meeting consumer expectations. It is for this reason that marketing campaigns being undertaken by the brand must portray accurate expectations and not overstate them to the audience. Doing so would only lead to a negative outcome for the brand’s image. Another factor to keep in mind when deciding on the messages should be to not overstate the features of the products being sold by the brand.
Branding as a concept is here to stay and companies in the future will do more of such activities to help them stand out from their competitors. Further inclusion of consumer interaction will be emphasized upon to build the identity of an approachable brand for the people, by the people.