It is very difficult to define both brand and brand management in a single, unambiguous way. The main and most vital reason behind that is both of those terms having more than one sub-component behind them, and regarding to definition, where should be the focus on. This is also the reason behind the fact that when we search “What is brand management?” on Google, we often come up with multiple search results.
With a slight taste of an academic article, we will try to discuss brand management as best we can. In the first part of this article, we will look at the term “brand” from a somewhat general point of view. We will elaborate on the concepts that we consider important in terms of brand management in the second part, and in the third part, we will discuss about the brand management in a more detailed way.
Basics of Brand
Definition of a Brand
American Marketing Association defines the brand as the following.
‘’A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.’’
The above definition underlines two important aspects, that a brand consists of special names and signs and that is to distinguish the product or service from its competitors. Within the context of modern marketing, in order to explain exactly what a brand actually signifies, one must also involve the human element as a part of the definition of what a brand is.
What is a Brand?
It is useful to begin by considering what a brand means to both businesses and consumers.
‘’Brand’’ From the Perspective of Businesses
- Reputation and prestige builds quality.
- A saleable company value.
- High market share, high sales and high profits.
- The greatest instrument of the creation of customer loyalty
- Path towards standing out from its competitors
- An efficient method to bring new products to the market with an opportunity to gain an advantage.
‘’Brand’’ From the Perspective of Consumers
- Brand is among the most vital factors that influences the consideration of purchase.
- The perception of the company and the product
- Both the functional as well as the emotional descriptor of the goods and the services.
- It is the guarantee of the quality
- Brand is a tool, which can be used for interacting with the both company and the product itself.
Let’s continue with a few quotes that is reflecting a brand’s two-way (customer/human focused) relationship with the customer.
‘’Brand image is the consumer’s perception of the brand.’’ (David Ogilvy)
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” (Jeff Bezos)
“A brand is a person that has a voice, evokes emotion and spreads a message.” (Richie Norton)
’’Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.’’ (Elon Musk)
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.’’ (Walter Landor)
After such information, it should be easier to clarify what a brand is.
Made up from distinguishing visual aspects such as a name, logo, symbol, corporate colors and design, a brand is the way which people recognize a company, product or service.
What are the Main Functions of a Brand?
It is possible to gather the functions that make up a brand under a single roof with three main issues.
Referencing function aims to help consumers to know by whom the product or service was produced or made available.
Guarantee function may refer to the guarantee of the features, content and quality of the product or service offered to consumers.
Advertisement function aims for the brand to be recognized and accepted instantaneously among the target customer base.
What is the Distinction Between a Product and a Brand?
Typically, each brand refers to a product, but this does not mean that each product is a brand on its own. To distinguish between a product and a brand, the following table will be extremely useful.
|It is tangible / it is an object.||Regarding to the concept of it, it is intangible.|
|Manufactured in a factory.||It is visualized in the customer’s mind in the form of a perception.|
|On the basis of color and shape, it can encounter with some changes.||It is permanent|
|It creates a functional advantage on behalf of the consumers.||For the consumer, it is a sign of status or prestige. Creates psychological and emotional advantages.|
|Geographical or cultural differences may affect product content.||Perception of brand doesn’t change.|
What are the Main Characteristics of a Brand?
The “brand”, which should be evaluated within much wider boundaries than the product, has three distinct characteristics. Let’s move further with distinguishing those three.
A Brand Should Be Consistent
The consistency of the brand ensures that the product meets a standard, particularly when it comes to brand quality. The consistency will lead to customers buying a product or a service, which they used and got satisfied before, again.
A Brand Has to Reduce the Risk
The risk factors of a brand are listed as psychological, physical, price and performance risks.
Damage caused by the use of the product over time is classified as a physical risk. An example of physical risk is when a purchased body lotion causes allergies.
If the product fails to meet the anticipated interest among consumers, that can be considered as psychological risk.
If the product offered fails to meet the customer’s demands and expectations, this is called performance-related risk.
As such, a strong brand should eliminate the risks highlighted above and establish trust with the customer.
A Brand has to Provide Both Functional and Emotional Satisfaction
The comfort and practicality of a purchased piece of clothing attributes to the functionality of a brand. At the same time, the emotional satisfaction is compounded by the fact that the piece of clothing is stylish and that the consumer feels that it suits him or her. And that leads customers, who are using the goods or the service, to have a positive impression about the brand.
more? second part soon 🙂
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