A brand is a name or trademark connected with a product or producer. Brands have become increasingly important components of culture and the economy, now being described as "cultural accessories and personal philosophies".

CONCEPTS Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service. People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. Careful brand management, supported by a cleverly crafted advertising campaign, can be highly successful in convincing consumers to pay remarkably high prices for products which are inherently extremely cheap to make. This concept, known as creating value, essentially consists of manipulating the projected image of the product so that the consumer sees the product as being worth the amount that the advertiser wants him/her to see, rather than a more logical valuation that comprises an aggregate of the cost of raw materials, plus the cost of manufacture, plus the cost of distribution. Modern value-creation branding-and-advertising campaigns are highly successful at inducing consumers to pay, for example, 50 dollars for a T-shirt that cost a mere 50 cents to make, or 5 dollars for a box of breakfast cereal that contains a few cents' worth of wheat. Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price - they represent the sum of all valuable

qualities of a product to the consumer. There are many intangibles involved in business, intangibles left wholly from the income statement and balance sheet which determine how a business is perceived. The learned skill of a knowledge worker, the type of metal working, the type of stitch: all may be without an 'accounting cost' but for those who truly know the product, for it is these people the company should wish to find and keep, the difference is incomparable. By failing to recognize these assets that a business, any business, can create and maintain will set an enterprise at a serious disadvantage. A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic (see also brand promise). From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.

Brand Name
The brand name is often used interchangeably within "brand", although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of any product. In this context a "brand name" constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration. Advertising spokespersons have also become part of some brands, for example: Mr. Whipple of Charmin toilet tissue and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg's.



Brand names will fall into one of three spectrums of use - Descriptive, Associative or Freestanding. Descriptive brand names assist in describing the distinguishable selling point(s) of the product to the customer (eg Snap Crackle & Pop or Bitter Lemon). Associative brand names provide the customer with an associated word for what the product promises to do or be (e.g. Walkman, Sensodyne or Natrel) Finally, freestanding brand names have no links or ties to either descriptions or associations of use. (e.g Mars Bar or Pantene) The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer jeans. A brandnomer is a brand name that has colloquially become a generic term for a product or service, such as BandAid or Kleenex, which are often used to describe any kind of adhesive bandage or any kind of facial tissue respectively.

Brand Identity A product identity, or brand image are typically the attributes one associates with a brand, how the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand - and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity. Effective brand names build a connection between the brand personalities as it is perceived by the target audience and the actual product/service. The brand name should be conceptually on target with the product/service (what the company stands for). Furthermore, the brand name should be on target with the brand demographic. Typically, sustainable brand names are easy to remember, transcend trends and have positive connotations. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors. Brand identity is what the owner wants to communicate to its potential consumers. However, over time, a products brand identity may acquire (evolve), gaining new attributes from consumer perspective but not necessarily from the marketing communications an owner percolates to targeted consumers. Therefore, brand associations become handy to check the consumer's perception of the brand.

Brand management is the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. It seeks to increase the product's perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. Marketers see a brand as an implied promise that the level of quality people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future purchases of the same product. This may increase sales by making a comparison with competing products more favorable. It may also enable the manufacturer to charge more for the product. The value of the brand is determined by the amount of profit it generates for the manufacturer. This can result from a combination of increased sales and increased price, and/or reduced COGS (cost of goods sold), and/or reduced or more efficient marketing investment. All of these enhancements may improve the profitability of a brand, and thus, "Brand Managers" often carry line-management accountability for a brand's P&L (Profit and Loss) profitability, in contrast to marketing staff manager roles, which are allocated budgets from above, to manage and execute. In this regard, Brand Management is often viewed in organizations as a broader and more strategic role than Marketing alone. The annual list of the world’s most valuable brands, published by Interbrand and Business Week, indicates that the market value of companies often consists largely of brand equity. Research by McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, in 2000 suggested that strong, well-leveraged brands produce higher returns to shareholders than weaker, narrower brands. Taken together, this means that brands seriously impact shareholder value, which ultimately makes branding a CEO responsibility. The discipline of brand management was started at Procter & Gamble PLC as a result of a famous memo by Neil H. McElroy. Principles A good brand name should: •Be protected (or at least protectable) under trademark law. •Be easy to pronounce. •Be easy to remember. •Be easy to recognize.

•Be easy to translate into all languages in the markets where the brand will be used. •Attract attention.
•Suggest product benefits (e.g.: Easy-Off) or suggest usage (note the

tradeoff with strong trademark protection.)
•Suggest the company or product image. •Distinguish the product's positioning relative to the competition.

•Be attractive. •Stand out among a group of other brands.

Types of Brands A number of different types of brands are recognized. A "premium brand" typically costs more than other products in the same category. These are sometimes referred to as 'top-shelf' products. An "economy brand" is a brand targeted to a high price elasticity market segment. They generally position themselves as offering all the same benefits as a premium product, for an 'economic' price. A "fighting brand" is a brand created specifically to counter a competitive threat. When a company's name is used as a product brand name, this is referred to as corporate branding. When one brand name is used for several related products, this is referred to as family branding. When all a company's products are given different brand names, this is referred to as individual branding. When a company uses the brand equity associated with an existing brand name to introduce a new product or product line, this is referred to as "brand extension." When large retailers buy products in bulk from manufacturers and put their own brand name on them, this is called private branding, store brand, white labeling, private label or own brand (UK). Private brands can be differentiated from "manufacturers' brands" (also referred to as "national brands"). When different brands work together to market their products, this is referred to as "co-branding". When a company sells the rights to use a brand name to another company for use on a non-competing product or in another geographical area, this is referred to as "brand licensing." An "employment brand" is created when a company wants to build awareness with potential candidates. In many cases, such as Google, this brand is an integrated

extension of their customer. Brand Architecture The different brands owned by a company are related to each other via brand architecture. In "product brand architecture", the company supports many different product brands with each having its own name and style of expression while the company itself remains invisible to consumers. Procter & Gamble, considered by many to have created product branding, is a choice example with its many unrelated consumer brands such as Tide, Pampers, Ivory and Pantene. With "endorsed brand architecture", a mother brand is tied to product brands, such as The Courtyard Hotels (product brand name) by Marriott (mother brand name). Endorsed brands benefit from the standing of their mother brand and thus save a company some marketing expense by virtue promoting all the linked brands whenever the mother brand is advertised. The third model of brand architecture is most commonly referred to as "corporate branding". The mother brand is used and all products carry this name and all advertising speaks with the same voice. A good example of this brand architecture is the UK-based conglomerate Virgin. Virgin brands all its businesses with its name (e.g., Virgin Megastore, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Brides) and uses one style and logo to support each of them.

Techniques Companies sometimes want to reduce the number of brands that they market. This process is known as "Brand rationalization." Some companies tend to create more brands and product variations within a brand than economies of scale would indicate. Sometimes, they will create a specific service or product brand for each market that they target. In the case of product branding, this may be to gain retail shelf space (and reduce the amount of shelf space allocated to competing brands). A company may decide to rationalize their portfolio of brands from time to time to gain production and marketing efficiency, or to rationalize a brand portfolio as part of corporate restructuring. A recurring challenge for brand managers is to build a consistent brand while keeping its message fresh and relevant. An older brand identity may be misaligned to a redefined target market, a restated corporate vision

statement, revisited mission statement or values of a company. Brand identities may also lose resonance with their target market through demographic evolution. Repositioning a brand (sometimes called rebranding), may cost some brand equity, and can confuse the target market, but ideally, a brand can be repositioned while retaining existing brand equity for leverage. Brand orientation is a deliberate approach to working with brands, both internally and externally. The most important driving force behind this increased interest in strong brands is the accelerating pace of globalization. This has resulted in an ever-tougher competitive situation on many markets. A product’s superiority is in itself no longer sufficient to guarantee its success. The fast pace of technological development and the increased speed with which imitations turn up on the market have dramatically shortened product lifecycles. The consequence is that product-related competitive advantages soon risk being transformed into competitive prerequisites. For this reason, increasing numbers of companies are looking for other, more enduring, competitive tools – such as brands. Brand Orientation refers to "the degree to which the organization values brands and its practices are oriented towards building brand capabilities” (Bridson & Evans, 2004).

Challenges There are several challenges associated with setting objectives for a brand or product category. •Brand managers sometimes limit themselves to setting financial and market performance objectives. They may not question strategic objectives if they feel this is the responsibility of senior management. •Most product level or brand managers limit themselves to setting shortterm objectives because their compensation packages are designed to reward short-term behavior. Short-term objectives should be seen as milestones towards long-term objectives. •Often product level managers are not given enough information to construct strategic objectives.
•It is sometimes difficult to translate corporate level objectives into

brand- or product-level objectives. Changes in shareholders' equity are easy for a company to calculate. It is not so easy to calculate the

change in shareholders' equity that can be attributed to a product or category. More complex metrics like changes in the net present value of shareholders' equity are even more difficult for the product manager to assess.
•In a diversified company, the objectives of some brands may conflict

with those of other brands. Or worse, corporate objectives may conflict with the specific needs of your brand. This is particularly true in regard to the trade-off between stability and riskiness. Corporate objectives must be broad enough that brands with high-risk products are not constrained by objectives set with cash cows in mind (see B.C.G. Analysis). The brand manager also needs to know senior management's harvesting strategy. If corporate management intends to invest in brand equity and take a long-term position in the market (i.e. penetration and growth strategy), it would be a mistake for the product manager to use short-term cash flow objectives (i.e. price skimming strategy). Only when these conflicts and tradeoffs are made explicit, is it possible for all levels of objectives to fit together in a coherent and mutually supportive manner.
•Brand managers sometimes set objectives that optimize the performance

of their unit rather than optimize overall corporate performance. This is particularly true where compensation is based primarily on unit performance. Managers tend to ignore potential synergies and interunit joint processes. •Brands are sometimes criticized within social media web sites and this must be monitored and managed (if possible)

Online Brand Management Companies are embracing brand reputation management as a strategic imperative and are increasingly turning to online monitoring in their efforts to prevent their public image from becoming tarnished. Online brand reputation protection can mean monitoring for the misappropriation of a brand trademark by fraudsters intent on confusing consumers for monetary gain. It can also mean monitoring for less malicious, although perhaps equally damaging, infractions, such as the unauthorized use of a brand logo or even for negative brand information (and misinformation) from online consumers that appears in online communities and other social media

platforms. The red flag can be something as benign as a blog rant about a bad hotel experience or an electronic gadget that functions below expectations. •30% of Laggards, compared to 65% of Best-in-Class companies, are satisfied with their current ability to identify and reduce risk to the brand •Using online monitoring as an early warning system, Best-in-Class companies are 12.5-times more likely than Laggards to experience year-over-year increases in shareholder value



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