1. WHAT IS A BRAND? WHY ARE BRANDS IMPORTANT
Branding has been around for centuries as a means to distinguish the goods of oneproducer from those of another. In fact, the word "brand" is derived from the Old Norse word"brandr" which means "to burn" as brands were and still are the means by which owners of livestock mark their animals to identify them. According to the American MarketingAssociation, a brand is a "
name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of themintended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competition
."A brand should be contrasted from a product. A product is anything that can beoffered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a need orwant. Thus, a product may be a physical good (e.g., a cereal, tennis racquet, or automobile),service (e.g., an airline, bank, or insurance company), retail store (e.g., a department store,specialty store, or supermarket), person (e.g., a political figure, entertainer, or professionalathlete), organization (e.g., a non-profit, trade organization, or arts group), place (e.g., a city,state, or country), or idea (e.g., a political or social cause).
A brand is a product then but one that adds other dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same need
These differences may berational and tangible -- related to product performance of the brand -- or more symbolic,emotional and intangible -- related to what the brand represents. Thus, extending theexample from above, a branded product may be a physical good (e.g., Kellogg’s Corn Flakescereal, Prince tennis racquets, or Ford Taurus automobiles), a service (e.g., United airlines,Bank of America, or Transamerica insurance), a store (e.g., Bloomingdale’s department store,Body Shop specialty store, or Safeway supermarket), a person (e.g., Bill Clinton, Tom Hanks,or Michael Jordan), place (e.g., the city of Paris, state of California, or country of Australia),organization (e.g., the Red Cross, American Automobile Association, or Rolling Stones), oridea (e.g., abortion rights, free trade, or freedom of speech).