BRANDING Brand signifies reputation and symbolic meaning attached to a brand.

Branding is an integral part of the overall marketing strategy. For the consumers a brand n ame is a means of identification of products as well as means of differentiation of the branded products from its rivals. DEFINITION: American Marketing Association "a brand is a name, term symbol or design or a co mbination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one sel ler or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors" Significance of Branding: 1. It enables national advertisement of a specific product and it is presold thr ough advertising 2. It enables the firm assured control over the market. When brand are successfu lly and effectively promoted the very existence of the middlemen depends up on a continued supply of each brand. 3. It also reduces price flexibility 4. If a firm has one or more lines of branded goods it can add a new item to its list easily and the new item can enjoy all the advantages of branding immediate ly. Reasons for Branding: Branding is the most powerful of sales promotion they are as follows 1. Ever increasing competition 2. Importance of packaging as a distinct marketing function 3. Need for advertising and publicity 4. Development of consumer brand consciousness as brand image in their mind. Relevance of Branding: The strategic importance of branding is that it enables the firm to position or differentiate their offerings from the competitors. It means putting the product it the predetermined orbit. The importance of branding are: 1. A brand enables the firm to segment the market and focus the requirements of the specific group of customers 2. It provides enduring value to the firm 3. It tries to protect the innovation 5. A brand doesn't fade from the memories soon 6. Even if the product die the brand will sustain Special consideration in Branding of a commodity:

The major issues involved in the branding of any commodity are i. Offering sufficient value to the customer to induce a change from a commodity to a branded option ii. Role and degree of consumer involvement in buying decision iii. Segmenting the market, selecting a target segment and positioning of the pr oduct to match with the target segment characteristic iv. Communicating the positioning to the target customers expectation v. Appropriate price -quality position offering sufficient turnover and long ter m growth vi. Setting and controlling distribution vii. Selecting suitable packaging viii. Channelising marketing investment for brand building. Brand building is a conscious customer satisfaction orientation process. Brandin g involves cost apart from additional cost involved in labeling, advertising leg al protection and a risk that if the brand should prove unsatisfactory to the us er the companies image would suffer and it may even affect market for other prod ucts of the company.