Branding

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Branding Meaning

Branding is the process of creating strong awareness of a product or service in the market through the use of a logo, design, symbol, or slogan and using them for advertisement. It helps in effective communication and creates a substantial and positive impact on the customer’s mind.

Branding

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The company uses logos or symbols to create a unique identity, which helps distinguish it from its competitors. Branding also gives a sneak peek into the product’s vision and mission. For example, a catchy slogan or design makes the product appealing and memorable to customers. The process significantly evolved over the years, making branding an essential part of business strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • A branding design creates recognition of a particular product or service in the customer’s mind through a logo, design, slogan, or symbol.
  • It makes the product easily recognizable and appealing to the market and helps the company create a niche and an edge over its competitors.
  •  Branding gives an idea about the mission and vision of the company regarding the product or service and powerfully communicates it to the consumer.
  • Branding has evolved over the years and has become an essential part of advertising and marketing strategy.

Branding Strategy Explained

Branding creates an identity of the product or service in the purchaser’s mind to acquire an edge over the competitors and capture maximum market share. Its design may be a logo, symbol, tagline, etc., that can easily capture the customer’s attention.

Over the years, branding has evolved into an industry that is an integral part of the advertising and marketing process. It creates an abstract feeling in the customer’s mind, making them go for the product repeatedly.

The work of a branding manager is to make a promise to customers regarding what the product plans to deliver. Thus, it combines the slogan/design/logo with packaging, marketing, and distribution. In the competitive world, where there are innumerable similar products and services, the organization needs to create a strategy that sets it apart from its peers.

Manufacturers often create products that are a class apart from the company’s generic products, known as brand equity. Logos, symbols, or designs are marketing tools that help an organization create a positive effect and value. After combining brand equity with marketing tools, the market gets a brand identity. A genuinely innovative brand manager will successfully make the brand identity, which sets the product apart in the competitive market.

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Elements

There are various elements involved in branding. They are as follows:

  1. Brand identity – Identity refers to the slogan, logo, or design used to describe the product or service. It helps customers identify the products and remember them.
  2. Advertisement – This helps the brand reach out to purchasers through communication and ultimately increases sales and profit.
  3. Brand positioning – Positioning is critical because it identifies the target market and diverts the product towards it. If positioning is incorrect, companies fail to influence customers.
  4. Brand definition – Branding conveys the company’s mission and vision with the product. Thus, the definition means what the entity intends to achieve and give back to society with the product or service.
  5. Packaging – Packaging has become a crucial part of any product today. The company packs a product after a lot of research on how a customer will use or store it, which should be easy to handle but hygienic.
  6. Partnership or sponsorship – Branding is sometimes necessary for companies to enter into a partnership to get sponsorship from any agency or company that gives the product more market exposure reach.
  7. Customer service – A customer who intends to buy a product must get a purchase experience and good after-sales service to stay with the brand for the future.
  8. Store experience – Whenever a purchaser visits a store to buy a commodity, the environment should be healthy, hygienic, and friendly. In addition, the purchase experience should be a smooth process.
  9. Pricing – Product price plays a huge role in brand management. For instance, if it is luxury branding, then prices will be high, which portrays the product’s high value, comfort, style, class, etc.
  10. Workplace culture – A healthy and encouraging workplace culture contributes to a good brand. If people trust and have faith in a company, they will only purchase its brands.

The above elements or branding guidelines can make an organization successful in establishing a solid brand.

Types

There are various types of branding, as follows:

  1. Personal brands – Companies or individuals use different tools like social media or personalized messages that help convey their brands to people and gain customers.
  2. Service brands – Companies that sell services often design methods and tools to display the service physically to attract the customer’s attention.
  3. Product brands – This involves a lot of research about the product and the target market so that the companies can identify what type of customers. For instance, a company does luxury branding for high-value goods to attract wealthy customers.
  4. Corporate brands – Any company always tries to do branding for their products through proper market research, correct pricing, etc., to get an edge over their peers.

Examples

We will look at some examples to understand the concept.

Example #1

John, a professional photographer, is always looking for new and improved cameras available in the market, which he can use to improve his photography skills. His profession allows him to roam around the world and visit picturesque locations. But taking such photos requires high-end cameras.

Before one such trip, he visited the market and found that a new company Newphoto had launched a camera with some new features that would prove very useful for John. But his hesitation in buying it is because the company is unknown. He has never purchased any camera other than from the brand PicFilm. Thus, he is highly loyal to the brand. Despite getting all the required features from Newphoto, he still needs to purchase it. So instead, he trusted only PicFilm cameras.

The above example proves that good branding creates brand loyalty through good quality and service and is crucial for any company because it helps retain customers.

Example #2

Many companies are confident about their ability to position their brands in the market quickly. No obstacle, be it COVID-19 or any other natural or artificial disaster, can stop them. Companies like Glossier, a company in beauty products, launched a hand cream, whereas Oneplus, a mobile phone company, successfully launched two mobile handsets in the market. All these product launches and branding occurred when the world was reeling under the coronavirus pandemic.

Example #3

According to McKinsey & Company, the choices and methods to choose a product or service are increasing, and gaining and retaining consumers’ trust and faith is also becoming more critical. In addition, no company can survive if it cannot continue with its branding image in a world of ever-increasing competition. Therefore, consistently delivering the best product or service requires a strong foundation, creativity, and good market understanding.

Importance

An entity should follow specific branding guidelines to be successful. They are listed as follows:

  1. Clarify the product mission – Branding clarifies the product’s mission and vision. It tells the customer the purpose of creating the product and what customers can expect from it.
  2. Facilitate online shopping – During online shopping, it is impossible first to touch and feel and then place the buy order. So here comes the brand value, which helps in attracting buyers.
  3. Identify the target market – The first step is identifying the target market, which helps entities understand what kind of customers they will serve.
  4. Create a positive image – It increases the value of products and services, thus projecting a positive impression.
  5. Improve customer service – To maintain the brand name, companies try their best to deliver and maintain a high level of customer service.
  6. Customer retention – Retaining customers once made is extremely important because it is easier and less costly to retain old and existing customers than to make new ones.
  7. Increase business value – Since good brands mean more consumers trust and value the product, branding also increases the value of the business.
  8. Source of employee pride – Even the employees working in the organization feel a sense of pride when they are associated with a famous brand.

Disadvantages

There are certain disadvantages in the brand creation process, as follows:

  1. Time-consuming – Brand creation is not the work of one day. Sometimes getting recognition and creating a customer base takes months and sometimes years.
  2. Research expense – The procedure involves a lot of research and cost. Companies need to search for the perfect market for their product which demands a lot of study and money.
  3. Fall in profit margins – An expensive brand creation will erode the revenue earned and thus reduce the profit margins.
  4. Inability to maintain a consistent image – Simply creating a brand is not enough. Keeping that image through exemplary customer service and product quality is also necessary. Unfortunately, many companies find it challenging to maintain that level consistently.
  5. Continuous innovation – Due to rapid technological and economic changes, research and innovation are fundamental. A brand will lose its value if the product becomes outdated and better options are available in the market.
  6. High competition – It is tough to create a brand because of increased competition at various levels like price, technology, quality, and customer service.

Difference Between Branding And Marketing

Branding is creating an image for a company’s products to increase its customer base and earn profit. Marketing is the method adopted to develop a brand. However, there are some differences between the two, which are as follows:

BrandingMarketing
It is a way to retain the customers already created.It is a way to attract new customers.
It increases the customer’s trust and attachment to a product.It increases sales and helps in earning profit.
Branding helps imprint the product image in the customer’s mind. It should not change.Marketing methods change depending on the product, customer, and resource availability.
It comes first in the product creation and distribution process. Next, the company must identify target consumers, the product’s strengths and weaknesses, etc.It is possible to market a product only after creating the brand because the company has already established the target market and product details.   
It is a process of committing to the long-term mission.It is the process of promoting a product and deriving a monetary benefit.

Branding vs Advertising vs Positioning

Branding creates a positive product image to retain customers and increase product value. Advertising is using marketing methods to reach out to customers. Positioning means displaying the product benefits to target consumers. However, there are specific differences between them.

BrandingAdvertisingPositioning
Branding is the process of creating a product image.It is the use of methods to gain customers.It displays the product benefits to the target market.
It drives advertising towards a positive change.It enhances brand awareness.It drives the ranking of the products and services.
It shapes the product identity.It promotes the brand and gains customers.It helps in deciding the type of market.
It is the feedback that customers give to the company.It is the message that the company sends to customers about the product.It is an exercise through which the company establishes the brand in the customer’s mind.
It focuses on the market picture and image.It focuses on the technicalities of attracting customers.It focuses on the entire target market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are branding assets?

Branding assets are the essential elements used to brand a product. They include different colors, the font or style of writing a slogan, etc. They help customers identify the brand and choose the product. However, if the asset diverts the customer’s attention to another brand, it cannot be called an asset.

2. How branding affects consumer behaviour?

Branding significantly affects customers’ behavior. A good brand diverts the customer’s attention towards the product and appeals to them so that customers always choose that particular product or service whenever they need to. As a result, they will not think of switching to another brand. Thus, it helps the company create and retain its customer base.

3. Is branding an intangible asset?

Yes, the brand is an intangible asset. It is intangible because it is a promise a company makes to customers to deliver a particular type and quality of product, keeping in mind its mission and vision. Branding is an asset because it helps the company create product value and company value, thus increasing sales and earning profit.  

This has been a guide to Branding and its meaning. We explain its elements, types, examples, importance, disadvantages, and differences with marketing. You can learn more about it from the following articles –

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