Monday, December 24, 2007

Meaning of Brand and Branding

A discussion in orkut branding community motivated me to look into the dictionary for the meaning of word brand.

I had a look at the oxford dictionary. It gives the meaning for brand as:

n. burning or charred log or stick,permanent mark deliberately made by hot iron, stigma, trade mark, goods of particular mark or trade mark, iron stamp for burning-in a mark

v.t. burn with hot iron, label with trade mark, impress on memory, stigmatize

I think we are using the meaning "impress on memory" when we are talking of branding now in marketing.

KVSSNrao (24-12-2007)

Meaning of Branding

The meaning of branding in communication is to bond the brand's personality with that of the intended audience - consumers, employees, stakeholders. By creating the right emotional and rational connections, Brand>Form ensures that the brand is owned by all who engage with it.

Few B to B professionals have an adequate grasp of the meaning of branding. What you don't understand you can't trust. So here is a simple definition of branding.

Branding is implanting your company message and image the way you want yourself to be understood in the minds and hearts of your target audience.

Or putting it more simply:

Branding is getting people to think of you the way you want to be thought of.

Yet branding is much more. A strong brand generates an identity with the target audience. A brand is perceived as a set of values with which people identify. Everybody is driven by values. People feel comfortable identifying with values they hold. A brand I relate to is something I can believe in. Something I can trust. In this way, a brand is like a person.


Where marketers gather to ruminate, the discussion about the meaning of branding takes on the texture of discussions on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But this is clear...

The value of the brand exists not in the product or company, but in the customer's mind. This value is measured beyond the usefulness of the product (or service) to include perceptions of "quality", consistency, reliability, and simply getting one's money's worth. It would be easy to dismiss the concept of a brand as an intangible, except that tangibility is irrelevant. To the customer with a specific brand of choice, the brand is very tangible.
There's a difference between reputation -- even a favorable one, with great name recognition -- and a brand. The reputation may serve as a backdrop for receptivity for other marketing efforts, but other marketing efforts there must be. Reputation and name recognition are not the same as the array of perceptions and emotional attachments that consumers have for a brand. Subtle distinctions, perhaps, but very real ones. Everybody, including those who don’t hire accounting firms, knew Price Waterhouse by name, because they did the highly visible Academy Awards for years. But without a great deal of marketing activity that seems almost irrelevant to the name recognition, Price Waterhouse might not have gotten another client.
Branding for a professional service may very well be different from branding for a product. Which is not to say that there isn't some viability in branding for a professional service. But different it is, and therefore harder to do. Ultimately, (and except for very large or specialized firms), people don't usually buy a firm -- they buy an individual service or an individual accountant or lawyer or consultant whom they believe has the specific expertise to address their needs or problems.
Joseph Vales, a leading and thoughtful marketer with Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), enhances the definition. "A brand," he says, "is more distinctive than a product. It is, first of all, a name -- a means of identification. Second, it is a set of added values, values that offer both functional and psychological benefits to the consumer, such as performance in use, price, packaging, color, taste, smell, shape and form, associations, and the perceptions formed by advertising."

I went through first 30 sites brought out by google search for "meaning of branding" but could not not locate any thing worth including in this note today.

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