According to a definition, a brand is a "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”. (The American Marketing Association (AMA))

The word ‘branding’ comes from the word brand, and branding is what all the marketers and advertisers of today love to do. Branding in common words is an association of a company, group, product etc with any thing like symbol, phrase, word, design to get it distinguished from its own league, and as well as from the market competitors. An example is of NIKE, where the people identify the brand from just the symbol or the word itself.

Branding is one of the creative and innovative skills of the marketer that helps in creating and maintaining the products and services. Branding adds value to the product as a whole. Branding helps the buyers in many ways; the name of the brand helps the customer to identify the products themselves. Brands also tell about the product quality, to the buyer. The buyers who always buy the same brand know that they will get the same features, benefits and quality each time they are going to buy that brand.

Brand Equity

t is the value of a brand, based on the extent to which it has high brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality, strong brand associations and other assets such as patents, landmarks, and channel relationships. Powerful brand names command strong consumer preference and are powerful assets. Measuring the actual equity of a brand name is difficult however the advantages of having it include;

• High consumer awareness and loyalty
• Easier to launch brand extensions because of high brand credibility
• A good defense against fierce price competition

Selecting Brand’s Name

Selecting a brand name is an important step. The brand name should be carefully chosen since a good name can add greatly to a product’s success. Desirable qualities of a good brand name include;

• It should suggest something about the product’s benefits and qualities
• It should be easy to pronounce, recognize, and remember
• It should be distinctive
• It should be capable of registration and legal protection. Once chosen, the brand name must be protected.

Branding Strategy

A company has got four choices when it comes to brand strategy and those are

Introduce Line Extensions Existing brand names are extended to new forms, sizes, and flavors of an existing product category. A company might introduce line extensions as a low cost, low risk way of introducing new products in order to: (a) Meet consumer desires for variety (b) Meet excess manufacturing capacity (c) simply command more shelf space

Introduce Brand Extensions Existing brand names are extended to new or modified product categories. Advantages include (a) It helps a company to enter new product categories more easily (b) It aids in new product recognition (c) It saves on high advertising costs

Introduce Multi-Brands New brand names are introduced in the same product category. Advantages include (a) They gain more shelf space (b) Offering several brands to capture “brand switchers” – company can establish flanker or fighter brands to protect its major brand (c) It helps to develop healthy competition within the organization

Introduce New Brands The new brand names in the new categories can be introduced and its advantages include (a) It helps in moving away from a brand which is failing (b) It can get new brands in new categories by corporate acquisitions. Some companies are now pursuing mega brand strategies.

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