Tuesday, 25 December 2012

What is branding?

Let’s start with the American Marketing Association (AMA) definition. The AMA defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

However, a brand stands for more than that. It’s a set of values, experience, sense of belonging, and much more. Let’s understand it in simple words by simply running through the below video. It presents the basics of branding.

So, did you find anything new? I am sure you will say “it’s the same definition everywhere”. Now, let’s see what these people have to say about brands.

Stephen King of WPP Group, London distinguishes a brand from a product as he says, "A product is something made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by the customer.” “A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique."

Likewise, Marketing Guru Philip Kotler says, “If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” Advertising Guru David Ogilvy simply puts it as - "Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand."

The creator of Revlon, Charles Revson also agrees with them when he says, “In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope." While Walter Landor of Landor Associates takes it to the next level when he says, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”

Al Reis and Laura Reis, the authors of 22 Immutable Laws of Branding also connect the brand with consumer’s mind. They say, "A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer."

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon personifies a brand. He says, “A brand for the company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

David Ogilvy adds the human experience to the definition of a brand. According to him, “Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.”

Stuart Agres, the Principal at Adduce Consulting and Owner, Adduce International Corp., links a brand to a set of promises. In his words, "A brand is a set of differentiating promises that link a product to its customers." While Harry Beckwith, the author of Selling the Invisible, draws in the trust factor when he says, “It is not slickness, polish, uniqueness, or cleverness that makes a brand a brand.” “It is truth.”

Talking about brands, consumers and brand loyalty, Edwin Artzt, the former CEO and Chairman of Procter & Gamble, says, “Brand value is very much like an onion.” “It has layers and a core. The core is the user who will stick with you until the very end.”

Brand has been compared with time. In Stephen King’s opinion, “A product can be quickly outdated, but a successful brand is timeless.” Creators and curators of brands die but a brand lives on, if managed well. In former Diageo Chairman George Bull’s words, “Well-managed brands live on – only bad brand managers die.”

Brand is a complicated story. Its innumerable connotations are never-ending. Scott Bedbury, an American Advertising Executive formerly associated with Nike, Inc. and Starbucks and the author of A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century, says, “A great brand is a story that’s never completely told.”

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