We live in a brand saturated world. Every day an average person exposed to 350+ brands directly and another 3000+ brands indirectly. For example, from the Toothpaste, Brush, Soap, Shampoo, Dress, Shoes, Perfume, car, bike, mobile phone etc everything which we use from the morning to night is branded. There will be another 3000+ brands pass in front of our eyes every day in terms of various TV and Print advertisements, vehicles on the road, shop boards, Hoardings on the road etc. This makes tough competition for new brands to get noticed by the consumers. Here we are discussing the true factors what makes a strong brand.
What is Branding?
Branding, by theoretical definition, is the practice of making a distinguishable name, symbol and design which intends to differentiate their products from that of the competitor. It allows customers and clients to make their decisions easier. Branding makes a normal smartphone into an iPhone which converts the customer from a user to a proud owner.
Building Brands are important in business because it gives a competitive advantage for growing your business in terms of bringing new customers and retaining your existing customers.
What is not a Brand?
Before explaining what a brand is, I would like to clarify which all things are not brand. Many beginners believe that branding is all about corporate identity. They focus on their Name, logo, Tagline, Visiting cards, colours and Ad campaigns. Logo and advertisement campaign is a useful tool for business to get attraction and makes it easy to memorise in peoples’ mind. But that is not a brand, these are the symbols and elements of it.
I observed that many people explain that brand as a promise to the customer. And branding will help you to charge more from your customers and finally end up losing their market share.
Sometime advertisement agencies convince that spending more on advertisement is good for brand building. They focus on creating more impressions through 360 degree marketing strategies. More advertisements might help people to understand what you are doing but But a brand is much above all.
What is a brand?
“The brand is what people feel or think about your product, the service they are expecting from your products and overall, from your organization.“
The Brand is more like the character of a person. Every person has a name, face, style, personality, attitude, way of communication etc. Everyone creates an impression of another person based on the interactions with that person. We may not have any direct interaction with many of the people whom we know. In such cases, we perceive impressions based on the available knowledge such opinion of other people, videos, speeches, news reports and whatever available information. Likewise, brand perception also builds over a period of time with the various interactions with the company.
We believe that brands are owned by the founder, or the company or the brand manager. But it actually owned by people and build over the mind of people. A Brand is all about their gut feeling about your product, service or about your company itself. This gut feeling is created over a period of time, based on the various interactions with your company.
Product is one of the key factors which creates a gut feeling for customers. Its because the feature like Quality of products that you are putting out, Designs, user-friendliness, look and feel, packing of the product etc. involved in the direct interaction with the brand. After products, our advertisements and communication to customers are the next factors which create those interactions.
People are the third key factor which creates the interaction. Everyone in the company affects brand creation, doing something in a positive or negative way. So Branding can also consider as a reputation created in the consumer’s mind about your company.
What make strong Brands?
Something that makes a strong brands is the focus. Below some examples for great brands which focus on one point and build products around those key focus points.
Volvo – Safety
Toyota – Quality
Maruthi Suzuki – Mileage
Starbucks – Serving people
Apple – Innovation
For those successful companies, the focus is what they stand for and what they doing every day for their customers. All advertisement, impressions, visual and written communications etc are the raw materials for the people to build a brand in their mind.
Why branding is important in Marketing?
Marketing is taking your product and service to the consumer level and making them buy it. Doing marketing when your brand has a bad public perception will do much harm than good. If you are marketing a struggling or immatured brand, it will have a negative impact over a period of time, like what happened for Micromax.
Branding ensures a product or service marketplace ready. It creates a reason to love them, the opportunity to try and share a Positive talk value. This is the only way to build a successful brand and bring growth to your company.