Branding is one of the most important components of product mix.
- Firms have to decide whether to sell the product in its Generic Name (name of the category of the product, say Fan, Pen, etc.) or to sell them in a Brand Name (such as Polar Fan or Rotomac Pen).
- If products were sold by generic names, it would be very difficult for marketers to distinguish their products from that of their competitors.
- Therefore, most marketers give a brand name to their products, which helps in identifying and distinguishing their products from the competitor’s products.
What is Branding ?
The process of giving a name, sign or symbol to a product is called branding. Through branding, firm tries to build a distinct and unique image for his product in the minds of public. An established brand name increases the reputation and goodwill of the firm and generates repeat sales.
Brand: Brand is a name, sign, design, or some combination of them, which is used to identify a product. It differentiates the product from competing products For example, some of the common brands are Bata, Lifebuoy, Parker, etc. Brand is a comprehensive term, which has the following components:
- Brand Name: Brand name refers to that part of a brand, which can be spoken. It is the verbal component of a brand. For example, brand names like Mercedes, Nike, Maggie, etc.
- Brand Mark: Brand mark refers to that part of a brand, which cannot be spoken, but can be recognized in the form of sign, symbol or design. For example, Star of Mercedes , swoosh sign of Nike, etc.
- Trade Mark: A brand or part of a brand that is given legal protection is called a trademark. The firm which gets its brand registered has the exclusive right for its use and no other firm can use such name or mark in the country.
Advantages of Branding to Marketers
1. Helps in Product Differentiation: Branding helps a firm in distinguishing its product from other competing products. It enables the firm to secure and control the market for its products.
2. Helps in Advertising and Display Programmes: With a brand, name advertisement not only creates awareness about the product but popularises the brand. Without a brand name, the advertiser can only awareness of the generic product and can never be sure of the sale product. For example, people will not simply purchase toothpaste, but they will ask for a brand, like Close Up, Colgate, etc.
3.Differential Pricing: An established brand name enables the firm to charge prices higher than the competing products. It is possible because customers are ready to pay more for preferable brands.
4.Ease in Introduction of New Product: If a new product is introduced under a known brand, then the new product can enjoy all the advantages of a known brand. For example, Maggie (Noodles) extended this brand name to introduce many of its new products such as Tomato Ketchup, Soups, etc.
Advantages of Branding to Customers
1 Helps in Product Identification: Once a customer is satisfied with a particular brand, he does not make a close inspection every time. So, branding makes the identification of products easier and saves considerable time and energy in shopping.
2. Ensures Quality: Branding ensures a particular level of quality of the product. In case of any deviation in the quality, customers can make a complaint to the manufacturer or the marketer. This builds up the confidence of the customers and helps in increasing his level of satisfaction.
3. Status Symbol: Certain brands provide status and prestige to consumers because of their quality. Consumers feel proud in using such brands as it gives them psychological satisfaction. It adds to the level of satisfaction of the customers.
Characteristics of Good Brand Name
Choosing the right brand name is a very important decision because once a brand name is chosen and the product is launched in the market, it becomes very difficult to change it. The following factors should be kept in mind while choosing a brand name:
- Simple and easily pronounceable: The brand name should be simple, short and easy to pronounce and remember. For example, Surf, Lux, VIP etc. Companies should avoid difficult words like Heinz.
- Suggestive: The brand name should suggest the benefits, quality or purpose of the product. For example, Lijjat Papad suggests taste of papad.
- Distinctive: The brand name should be unique and distinctive so that the product is easily differentiated. For example, Liril, Sprite, etc.
- Adaptable: The brand name should be adaptable to packing or labelling requirements, to different advertising media and to different languages.
- Versatile: The brand name should be versatile so that it can accommodate any new product added to the line. For example, names like Maggie or Colgate possess this characteristic.
- Legal Protection: The brand name should be capable of being registered and protected legally to prevent any kind of imitation by the rivals. For example, Haldiram is a registered brand name.
- Staying Power: The brand name should have staying power, i.e. it should have stable life. For example, Bata or Philips. It should not depend upon fashions and styles as they have a short life.