Branding is the process by which a small business can distinguish their product offering from the competition. Each brand will create intangible characteristics that consumers can be related to. Small businesses can differentiate their products from the competition even if the products are the same, for example Pepsi VS Coke. Such brand characteristics will give different brand personalities to each brand that can be seen to be very similar with human personalities. Different brand personalities will create different experiences for different consumers. As long as a small business knows what traits are similar to targeted consumers, with specific demographics that represent the brand, it will be able to attract customers with a high interest in the company’s products and, thus, willing to pay a high price for them.
Customers create a sort of friendship with the brand. We could say that a brand is similar to the human personality. That is because a lot of human characteristics are associated with brands. For example, Absolute vodka is described as a cool hip, contemporary 25-year old, whereas Stoli vodka is an intellectual, conservative, older man.
Thus, we can see that brands are serving both a symbolic and a self-expressing function. People will always identify some human characteristics similar to theirs and thus create an intangible reason to buy them. That is how the perception of the human mind works. Different perceptions about different brands will differentiate a product, which may have the same tangible characteristics as another product, and thus provide a competitive advantage.
A great example of such a product is water. Buying water from the shop may have almost no difference than drinking water from the tab. Let’s face it that both instances involve just drinking water which is a product of the nature. Of course we could argue that tab water is not filtering as good as water from the shop but then we can argue about the different companies offering water in different prices. Each company will create different aspirational user images or product history that can be related directly to a specific targeted group of consumers. In return, it will differentiate water from competitors by manipulating the perceptions of consumers about the product.
Top Brands around the world reflect the complete experience that customers have with the product, by the product’s use by the customer and the marketing activity used by the company.
Different personalities and functional characteristics will create a sense of routine to the customer and bringing him closer to the product. I could argue that, in a degree, a form of addiction can be created between the consumer and the brand. That’s because the customer is used to the way the product works and becomes easier for him through time to use it. On the other hand, it just may be that the results of the product are fantastic and able to satisfy the consumer’s needs. Also, if a small business is constantly delivering messages to targeted customers it will create different brand values, meanings and aesthetics embedded in the consumers’ subconscious. Such messages could be the brand logo, advertisements on how to use the product etc.
Targeting demographic characteristics
Such personality traits associated with a brand tend to be enduring and distinct. Coke traits are cool, all American, and real, while Pepsi is young, exciting and hip. Such traits make it easy for a company to last for a long time because of their popularity among consumers.
Companies will try to give to their brands the same traits as those of their target consumers in order to create a link between the two and create attraction to the product. For example, Coke created its brand name based on young people who want to be cool, fit in with people of similar age or people aspired by the American way of living. Another great example is that of Marlboro, the cigarette manufacturing company, which tends to be perceived as masculine, thus attracting men that want to feel masculine, maybe again because they want to fit in with people in their own environment.
Different brand personalities will affect different people. A small business should find what personality fits their clients and try to create a brand around that. Only then small businesses can attract customers that will be more likely to purchase the product, pay a high price and come back to buy more products. These outcomes can have a great impact on a small business’s profit and, thus, on its growth.