From a survey of the existing brands in today’s marketplace, it is evident that planning and executing proper brand building is critical to the success of any business. As businesses have created, evolved and explored brands there has been a collective tome of knowledge that blends science and psychology to promote the companies message.
Unlike a trademark, a brand is more of a promise mark that the company will provide the emotional experience associated with the brand. A product has a life cycle, however depending on the planning and execution, a brand can outlive both the product and the company. A brand conveys what the customer should expect in terms of product quality, and company credibility and expertise. A brand has a measurable dollar value, that many companies even include as an asset on their balance sheet.
If you are not yet convinced of this, consider this example. The American Dollar is a worldwide brand. Although at its essence, it is only a simple piece of paper, branding has made the dollar one of the most valuable brands in the world. Nearly every branding and marketing tool currently in existence has been utilized to build up this brand’s value.
Take a look at a dollar, and you will see elements of the brand, including an endorsement from the first president of the U.S., as well as instructions for use: “This note is legal tender for debts public and private.” Even the message “In God We Trust” has been included in order to appeal to its audiences emotions. As such, the dollar is a brand known well around the world. It communicates its value globally, even though it is still just a piece of paper. Branding has created and firmly established its value.
But, brands are more important today than they were a hundred years ago for a few reasons. For one, the world is fully connected through online communication channels, which has led to the emergence of new markets and new and growing middle classes in previously underdeveloped countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Indonesia. All of these countries are homes to consumers who purchase brands, and often premium brands, at that.
Secondly, with so many brands already firmly established. choosing a new name and logo, can be difficult. For example, pharmaceutical companies have patented every facet of a new medication and its brand. This creates strong, well-known brand names with established credibility. It also means for new pharmaceuticals it is exceptionally difficult to create a new brand that sticks in customers minds. This challenge can only be approached with a very sophisticated strategy. It is no longer just about the product, its name, and its logo, there is a lot more involved.
Today’s branding typically revolves around a strong central idea, and uses creative advertising to help break through the customer’s obstacles and indifference, and establish heat around the brand and interest in the product.
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