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Brand Name and Logo: brand name is the face of n brand consisting of a word, letter, group of words or letters that can be vocalized. Comparing this definition with that of a brand, it is found that the function remaining the same, brand name is only one of the means that the brand can use for identification. Brand name is a word or a combination of words/letters that is pronounceable, e.g. Pepsodent toothpaste, Rexona soap etc. Brand as a logo is unique to that product as a product design and signage. Examples of brands easily identifiable include the unique shape of Coca Cola bottle, the distinctive rainbow mark of Wipro, the golden arch of McDonalds, part eaten apple of Apple Macintosh. A Brand mark can be a design, a distinctive logo type or a colouring scheme, u picture etc. In other words, it is not just a name but a means of identification.
Brand as a Legal 1nstl.ument: Branding insignificant from a legal perspective. It is used for ensuring a legally enforceable statement of ownership. Brand building represents an investment and organizutions seek legal ownership of title as protection against imitator.~
While a product could represent many different things, a good, however, is a tangible object that can be seen and touched. A service, unlike a good and in sharp contrast to it, represents an intangible product that may involve human or mechanical effort in its delivery. Services are being consumed increasingly by personal and organisational consumers and constitute a very important part of the economies of developed and developing countries. More people are employed in service jobs than in those that produce goods. A product can be described at five levels:
• The first level is the core benefit that customers seek and is just a basic version of a product or service designed for the purpose of addressing and satisfying some fundamental need.
• The second level is a generic product, one that provides necessary attributes or properties to address the core need. At this level, depending on whether the product is durable, non-durable, or service, the product will have certain attributes such as a brand name, quality, styling, packaging, colour, and perhaps an instructions manual.
• The third level is the expected product that boasts of a set of attributes or characteristics that buyers normally expect in a product and which persuade consumers to buy it.
• The fourth level is the augmented product and refers to well thought out and deliberate additions of features, benefits, and services (such as in case of durable, complex products) delivery, installation, customer education and training, after sales service, guarantees or warranties, payment options, customer complaint redressal, etc. Marketers deliberately instigate the design and production of goods or services that meet or exceed customers' expectations.
• The fifth level is the potential product. This refers to all the possible augmentations and changes that the product can undergo.
According to Jean-Noel Kepferer, a brand is complex symbol and capable of conveying up to six dimensions or meanings:
Physique: Physique dimension refers to the tangible, physical aspects. The physical dimensions are usually included in the product such as name, features, colours, logos, and packaging. The physique of IBM brand would be data system, servers, desktop PCs, notebooks PCs, and service, etc.
Personality: Marketers deliberately may try to assign the brand a personality; or people on their own may attribute a personality to a brand. It is not surprising that people often describe some brands by using adjectives such as "young," "masculine," "feminine," exciting," "rugged," "rebel," 'energetic," etc., as if they are living persons. Brands usually acquire personalities because of deliberate communications from marketers and use of endorsers. Bajaj Pulsar ads communicate "Definitely male." The personality of Boost is seen as young, dynamic, energetic and an achiever. Culture: Culture includes knowledge, belief, rites and rituals, capabilities, habits, and values. A brand reflects its various aspects and values that drive it.
Culture manifests various aspects of a brand. For instance, Apple computers reflect its, culture. It is a symbol of simplicity, and friendliness. Its symbol (munched Apple) connotes being different from others and not following the beaten path. Mercedes symbolises disciplined, efficient, high quality Gentian engineering.
Relationship: Brands are often at the heart of transactions and exchanges between marketers and customers. The brand name Nike is Greek and relates to Olympics, and suggests glorification of human body. "Just Do It" is all about winning, the unimportance of age, and encourages us to let loose. Apple conveys emotional relationship based on friendliness.
Relationship is essentially important in service products.
Reflection: This refers to defining the kind of people who use it. It is reflected in the image of its consumers: young, old, rich, modern and so on. For example, Pepsi reflects , young, fun loving, carefree people. The reflection of Allen Solly's brand is a typical young executive. However, it does not by any chance mean that they are the only users. The concept of target market is broader tnan reflection.
Self-image: This means how a customer relates herself/himself to the brand. Self-image is how a customer sees herself/himself. The self-image of users of Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle is believed to that of being tough, young males. Users of Nike see their inner reflection in the brand's personality.
"Brands have equity because they have high awareness, many loyal consumers, a high reputation for perceived quality, proprietary assets such as access to distribution channels or to patents, or the kind of brand associations (such as personality associations)." David A. Aaker, Managing Brand Equity, (Free Press 1-991).
Jagdish N. Sheth, Banwari Mittal, and Bruce 1. Newman define brand loyalty in the following words: "Brand loyalty is the biased behavioural response, expressed over time by some decisionmaking unit, with respect to one or more alternative brand out of a set of such brands, and is a function of psychological processes." (Jagdish N. Sheth, Banwari Mittal, and Bruce I. Newman, Consumer Behaviour, 1999). Loyalty is at the heart of equity and a very important brand equity asset. Few customers are fiercely brand loyal to this degree. Based on customer's degree of commitment toward brands, David A. Aaker categorised customers in five groups based on their attitudes toward a brand, from the indifferent or switcher at one extreme and most committed on the other extreme. The other three categories fall in between the extremes:
1. No brand loyalty. Such customers will change brands, particularly for price reasons.
2. Satisfied but change the brand. They are satisfied with the brand but apparently have ho reason to remain attached with it.
3. The customer is satisfied and stays with it because changing brand would incur costs.
4. Customer values the brand and considers it as a friend. 5. Customer is devoted to the brand with intense feelings.
Brand equity is highly related to categories of customers that fall into categories 3, 4, and 5. Brand loyalty is an area of key interest for marketers because it has the ability to have a dramatic impact on marketing performance. Brand equity and associations can add or subtract value for customer and the company. The assets of brand equity, such as perceived quality and associations can boost customer confidence in buying decision and provide use satisfaction, or even delight.
• Brand loyalty of consumers provides insulation against attacks by competitors.
• The company can afford to charge higher prices than competing brands.
• Leverage brand into extensions.
• Gets channel support and cooperation.
• Attract new customers due to strong positive word-of-mouth.
Walfried Lasser, Banwari Mittal, and Arun Sharma identified five dimensions of customer-based brand equity:
• Performance: The aspect of brand equity focuses on the physical and functional attributes of a brand. Customers are concerned about how fault free and durable the brand is, based on their judgement.
• Social image: This focuses on what social image the brand holds in terms of its esteem for customer's social and reference groups.
• Value: This refers to the customer's value perception of the brand. This is the ratio between what are the involved costs and the perceived delivered value.
• Trustworthiness: This means the customer's extent of faith in the brand's performance, quality, and service. This reflects reliability of the brand, that it would always take care of customer's interest and the people behind the brand can be trusted.
• Identification: To what extent customers feel emotionally attached to the brand. Their association with the brand is important because it matches their self-concept and aspirations. This means psychological association with what the brand stands for in the customer's perceptions.
A brand exists as a complex network of associations in a consumer's mind. Alexander L. Biel proposed that types of brand associations can be hard and soft and brand sub-images consist of three elements: image of provider, image of product, and image of user. Hard Associations: Hard associations include consumer's perceptions of tangible or functional attributes of a brand. These involve brand's physical construction and performance abilities such as economy, quality, reliability, sturdiness, etc. For example, the hard associations of an automobile can include its power, speed, fuel economy, etc. Soft Associations: Associations of this type are emotional in nature. Such associations can be positive or negative. A motorcycle can be visualised as male, tough, exciting, youthful, etc. For instance, Bajaj Auto has managed to associate its Pulsar motorcycle with maleness, toughness, youthfulness and excitement. As a consequence of negative associations, consumers associate Indian Airlines with dullness, old age, indifference and inefficiency.
• Image of provider: This refers to the image of manufacturer. Consumers also carry in their memories a network of associations about companies. For example, Apple computers create associations such as unconventional, exciting, user friendly, creative, innovative, and cool. When consumers visualise Delhi Cloth Mills (DCM), the kind of associations that may emerge are likely to be old, dull, cloth; Rath Vanaspati (vegetable oil): Unchanging, and unexciting. An inappropriate corporate image may tarnish the image of an otherwise good product.
• Image of product: Products also carry ah image of what they carry and have aspects such as functional characteristics, technology intensiveness, emotionality, old, or modern that go with them. Products such as laundry detergents, cold remedies, mosquito repellents etc., tend to be driven by functional attributes and rationality. On the other hand, fashion clothing, perfumes, cold drinks, expensive watches, and many alcoholic beverages tend to be associated with emotions and substantial symbolism. Therefore, brand image has to be shaped within structural limits imposed by the product image.
• Image of the user: The brand image brings to consumers' minds the image of its users. The image of brand may indicate the age, sex, occupation, lifestyle, interests, and personality attributes. For example, the image of Raymond suitings is that of a "complete man." The user image dimension reflects the brand's personality. According to Leon G. Schiffman and Leslie Lazer Kanuk, a study found that beer, coffee, cigarettes, cars, credit cards, haircuts, legal services, scotch, sneakers, and toothpaste were found to be masculine. Products perceived as feminine included bath soaps, shampoo, facial tissue, clothes dryers, washer, and dishwashing liquid.
Brand image management requires determining brand concept. This concept embodies the central meaning of the brand that the company chooses and is derived from basic consumer needs. The more strongly the brand satisfies these needs, the more differentiated and strong the brand image customers carry. These needs can be put under three broad groups.
Functional needs refer to performance related aspects of customer's living. These needs may relate to solving existing problems or avoid future problems. For example, the need to get rid of dandruff, have relief from cold, insuring for health, or protection against burglars. Some examples of functional brands include Bisleri (pure and safe water), Pepsodent (fights germs causing dental problems), Fevi Kwick (bonds in a snap), and Dispirin (relief from headache).
Symbolic needs are learned, needs as a result of living in a society and include wants for esteem, self-enhancement, identification with desirable groups, etc. Some examples of symbolic brands include Raymond (the complete man), Omega (the sign of excellence), Louis Philippe (upper crest), and Ruggers (be casual).
Experiential needs refer to sensual gratification that comes from brand usage experience. People seek pleasure through, their senses, including cognitive stimulation and variety. Some examples of experiential brands include Mother Dairy (pleasure of taste), Armani (the power of smell), Ford Ikon 'Josh' (driving experience), Dove (doesn't dry your skin), Gillette (the best a man can get), and Fisher Price Toys (cognitive stimulation).
Companies enlarge their product mix by either stretching existing product lines or adding new product lines, or both. In these situations they either use existing brand names or use new brand names, or some combination of company name and product brand name. The six branding strategies discussed here can be termed as generic branding strategies, each having its own set of pros and cons. Product Branding-Strategy
The term 'line branding' is altogether different than what product line refers to in the context of product mix. Companies often have several product lines in the product mix. For example, Gillette. India has three product lines: personal care, oral care, and alkaline batteries. In line branding, products share a common concept. Line brands start with a single product conveying a concept and later the brand name extends to other complementary products. The core concept remains unchanged. For example, the core concept of Denim brand is, "The man who doesn't have to try too hard." All products sporting the Denim brand name share the same concept. Lakme concept is "the source of radiant beauty."
This strategy seems to resemble line branding but is significantly different. It is also called brand extension. Product categories are different but brand name is the same, such as carrying the brand name Maggi is a range of different products: noodles, sauce, soup, Dosa mixes, etc. The range represents the area of expertise, which is fast food. In line branding, every product originates from the "product concept." Lakme concept is "the source of radiant beauty," and all products surround this core product concept. Line branding is restrictive to brand expansion into products that do not surround this core product concept and complement each other in this regard. In case of range branding, it is not the product concept but "the area of expertise." This strategy permits expanding into products that do not complement each other.
In general, umbrella branding is favoured among Eastern World companies but is not exclusively confined only to this part of the world. Giants like GE and Philips are examples of nonEastern companies that use umbrella branding. The approach is driven by economic considerations
This approach combines umbrella branding and product branding. Along with the product brand name, the company name is associated to create double branding, such as Tata Indica and, Bajaj Pulsar. Tata is the company behind Indica car brand. Maruti also follows this strategy. Both names are equally important and are given equal status in the brand's communication. Double branding serves two objectives. The product gains from the company name awareness, expertise, and reputation. And Pulsar adds some unique value of its own: "Definitely male." This is customer focus and the brand can communicate something in addition to what Bajaj name stands for in customers' perceptions and appeal to a new segment. The product's brand name helps differentiate the offer.
This is a minor variation of double branding strategy. The product brand name gains a dominant position, while the company name merits a lower profile. The company name appears in smaller letters and takes a back seat. The brand largely seeks to exist on its own. The company name is mentioned to identify who owns it just by way of endorsement to the product brand, such as Godrej Cinthoi, or Nestle Kit-Kat identify the owners of these brands.
A company must carefully examine its situation before making a decision about adopting a certain branding approach. Six factors seem to be more relevant and include the assessment of market size, competitive situation, company resources, product newness, and innovativeness and technology. •
Market Size: In a large and expanding market, some minimum investments are necessary to build up brand to a level that its sales generate sufficient revenues to support its growth. If the market size is smaller and the growth is very low, achieving sizable sales would not be easy. This would extend the payback period. Large investment in promotion is not called for and would, also further extend payback period. In this situation, taking assistance from an established name may be desirable. This would reduce expenditure, on promotion in brand building and may favourably reduce payback period. •
Competitive Situation: When the competition is intense, customer-focus gains importance to win their confidence. It becomes necessary to strongly differentiate the brand and be a specialist in some meaningful and persuasive; way. This requires communicating specific customer benefits and brand's matching personality dimensions. Individual brand identify creation gains importance. It may be desirable for companies to choose between product branding, endorsement branding, or double branding, depending on available resources. In case the level of competition is low, companies may not be motivated to create distinct brand identity for each brand and simply a company's identification may seem desirable. Thirty or forty years ago, brand building was not a priority, concern in India. More concern about branding became apparent only after economic liberalisation in our country.
• Company Resources: Branding in most cases is a highly expensive proposition. It is certainly not meant for resource-starved companies. Commitment to branding suits firms having deep pockets to create and support brands in the long-run. The companies opting for umbrella branding aim to create a common equity pool and their products exploit this equity. Most companies in this group tend to ensure consistent product quality and high degree of customer service.
• Product Newness: As companies grow, they tend to add new products to expand product mix. The marketplace is getting more and more crowded because of brand multiplication and customers tend to group them into categories to simplify their purchase decision. This crowding makes it increasingly difficult for marketers to make brands distinct. Creating a unique, differentiated identity and image for some product boasting really unique attributes and benefits require focusing on brand building. This requires adopting a branding strategy that suits this objective, such as product, endorsement, or double branding and certainly not umbrella branding as it may dilute and cloud image and confuse customers.
• Innovativeness and Technology: Really innovative products sometimes emerge from new technology. A breakthrough innovation embodies risks both for customers and the concerned company. Companies perceive risks of uncertainty about a product's success. High on a company's agenda are effective communications of product's uniqueness and to protect the company's equity. Such potential risks favour strategies towards. product branding continuum such as product, or endorsement branding. Highly innovative companies such as 3M, Apple, and DuPont adopt either product branding or endorsement branding.
By: NIHARIKA WALIA ProfileResourcesReport error
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