Before we come to ‘branding’, we need to understand a ‘brand’. In broad perspective, a brand is usually a composite of many things which occupy the space in the perception of the consumer, and is what results from the totality of what the consumer takes into consideration before making a purchase decision (Pickton and Broderick 2001). It is basically what opinion the consumer has of the product or service.
Now how should a ‘brand’ be understood from the consumer’s perspective? When viewed from the consumer’s perspective, it becomes synonymous with the image that the customer has of the brand. It is said that the true value of a brand can be judged by “what is said about the after you leave the room” – A brand is the consumers’ understanding or the interpretation of the product. So for us, brand BMW is not necessarily what it is in actuality, but it is the opinion that we have of it. A brand is not an objective term, but a subjective term & depends on the perspective from which we see it.
A brand is influenced by consumer’s preferences. Just think about it. How do you decide what products to buy? What factors do you consider? Do brands mean anything to you? What do your brand choices stand for & why are they important to you?
We can roughly decode the consumer behaviour as —> A consumer views a product, constructs its brand image, analyses information (not always) and finally takes a decision. People remember products by their brands. More often than not, the choice of products or services is influenced more by the ‘brand’ it is, rather than it’s standalone image. So it naturally follows that companies need to tailor their brands to suit the consumers’ preferences & likings. For a product to be accepted into the market, it has to be branded suitably. This is where ‘BRANDING’ comes into the picture!
Branding is defined as a process that involves creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. It’s a set of associations created so people choose your offering over everyone else’s. These include visual, emotional, rational and cultural ideas. Overall, it’s the intentional declaration of who you are, what you believe and why your people should put their faith in your services and products. These strengths are called ‘brand values’. A brand becomes valuable when people start to have positive expectations towards it. It makes their decisions easier and enhances the value and satisfaction they derive. Branding is proof that people do judge books by covers. Belief, which is what branding creates, is not a rational science.