The Beauty Of Brands – Part 1 of 3

A fantastic article on branding from Research World by David Murphy.

Brands are the lifeblood of business. The bottom line is that strong brands put more on the bottom line than weak brands, which is why companies invest so much time, effort and money into building and nurturing good brands. But how well is the concept of brands and branding understood? Often, it seems, companies graft a brand identity on to a product that is at odds with the experience customers have when they interact with the product.

As Ian Gee regional brand planning director, Asia Pacific for branding consultancy Initiative points out, “A computer voice telling you ‘Your call is valuable to us’ is , in fact, saying exactly the opposite.â€? According to Gee, too many companies treat the brand as ‘window dressing; for the business, without embracing the corollaries that come with the branding model.

“Companies need to remember, they don’t own the brand, their customers do,â€? says Gee. For consumers, he says that brands are, at the most basic level, a trustmark – a product tried and tested, known and believed in. An assurance that the consumer is getting what they paid or, made by the people whose name is on the pack. “the brand we choose is symbolic both of the product and our relationship with the product category,â€? says Gee. “To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, ‘The soul of a brand is promise, large promise’, because a strong brand embodies not just the product, but a clearly defined set of emotional associations. These add intangible value to the purely functional qualities of the product to address relevant but not necessarily product-related needs we have, that we may choose to satisfy through the medium of the product.â€?

Continued tomorrow

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