Branding literary means ‘creating an identity’. Ranchers having hoards of cattle used to create the identity of their cattle by marking them in such a way that thieves could not remove the marks and destroy their identity. This was called branding. Normally, branding used to be done by burning the skin of cattle with a logo.

Branding is the process of stamping a product with some identifying name or mark or a combination of both. It is the process of assigning or giving some unique identification to the product which can clearly distinguish it from the similar other products rolling in the market. It is an attempt to create individuality which distinguishes a product from the rival products.

Thus, it identifies the product for a buyer and provides an ample opportunity to the sellers to earn reputation and patronage. The brands, if catchy and suggestive, have an unfailing appeal to the consumers.

Lear about:-


1. Introduction to Branding 2. Meaning of Branding 3. Concept 4. Objectives 5. Characteristics 6. Components 7. Brand Building Process

8. Types 9. Role 10. Strategies 11. Strategic Framework 12. Role of Social Media 13. Global Branding 14. Branding for Non-Profit Organizations

15. Brand Construct 16. Brand Architecture 17. Brand Tracking 18. Brand Equity 19. Brand Identity 20. Private Labels 21. Advantages.

What is Branding: Introduction, Concept, Characteristics, Components, Types, Strategies, Architecture and Advantages


  1. Introduction to Branding
  2. Meaning of Branding
  3. Concept of Brand and Branding
  4. Objectives of Branding
  5. Characteristics of a Good Brand
  6. Components of a Successful Brand
  7. Brand Building Process
  8. Types of Brand
  9. Role of Brands
  10. Strategies for Branding
  11. Strategic Framework for Branding
  12. The Role of Social Media in Branding
  13. Global Branding
  14. Branding for Non-Profit Organizations
  15. Brand Construct
  16. Brand Architecture
  17. Brand Tracking
  18. Brand Equity
  19. Brand Identity
  20. Private Labels
  21. Advantages of Branding

What is Branding – Introduction

Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller from another is called Brand. The process of branding has been around for many years. In the case of the early man, he used the process of burning to stamp his ownership on his livestock.


As the concept of trade developed buyers began to use brands as a means of differentiating the livestock belonging to one farmer from another. And needless to say, a farmer with excellent livestock was much sought after, while the brands of farmers with a lesser reputation were not bought or taken for lesser price or traded with caution.

Thus the utility of brands as a guide to choice was established, a role that has remained unchanged to the present day. Branding has become a feature of marketing activity not only in the consumer-goods and services sectors but in non-consumer areas as well.

Branding helps in providing the identity to the product and building loyal customers. Organizations use their existing brand names to new products or services. These phenomena show that brands are assets of the company. The Brand manager should take various brand decisions like name, positioning, extension, image and so on. Companies all over the world spend huge amounts of money acquiring brands.


Branding literary means ‘creating an identity’. Ranchers having hoards of cattle used to create the identity of their cattle by marking them in such a way that thieves could not remove the marks and destroy their identity. This was called branding. Normally, branding used to be done by burning the skin of cattle with a logo.

Brick manufacturers also brand their bricks by putting a mark in the brick mould that cannot be removed. Brick manufacturers use this mark to ensure that if the customer makes a complaint about the quality of bricks, they should not be blamed for someone else’s bricks.

Branding became common for all those products that were sure of a stated quality and wanted customers/consumers to know who the manufacturer was. So if we look at all the brands that are famous for many years, they have the manufacturer’s name as a brand.

It is not exaggeration to say that literally anything that you know and has value to others could be empowered with brand. Branding could be done to everything that could be marketed, be it physical or conceptual entity. Firms do branding through their marketing activities and programs.


Ultimately branding could make consumers feel positive and develop favourable attitude towards any product or service that has potential to fulfill his need.

For current, former, and potential customers, a brand represents everything that a good, service, or idea means to them. Think about brands ranging from Apple to Disney to Ford and consider what they mean to you.

The differen­tiating characteristics of the brands that matter to you might be tangible and related to the product (such as – the towing capacity of a Ford F-150 truck) or they might be emotional and focused on a special memory (such as -your mem­ories of Disney World). Specifically, a brand is the name, term, symbol, design, or any combination of these that identifies and differentiates a firm’s products.

A successful brand adds value to organizations in numerous ways, including through loyal customers and recognizable goods and services, both of which lead to more revenue for for-profit firms and more donations and support for non-profit organizations.


Brand loyalty is when a consumer displays a steadfast allegiance to a brand by repeatedly purchasing it. Brand loyalty typically develops because of a customer’s satisfaction with an organization’s products. Brand-loyal cus­tomers typically exhibit less sensitivity to price, making them an impor­tant contributor to a firm’s long-term success and profitability.

Coca-Cola enjoys millions of brand-loyal customers who actively seek Coca-Cola products and will purchase them even if they are priced higher than the Pepsi products on sale down the aisle. Such brand loyalty adds to Coca-Cola’s pricing power and thus its ability to maintain higher profits.

Brand recognition is the degree to which custom­ers can identify the brand under a variety of circum­stances. Firms like Nike and McDonald’s employ brand marks, which are the elements of a brand not expressed in words that a consumer instantly recognizes, such as – a symbol, colour, or design. The Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches are brand marks that have become powerful market­ing tools for those companies.

The importance of brand recognition can perhaps best be seen when a company changes or updates its symbol or logo in an attempt to better resonate with customers. Consumers often grow attached to certain brand logos or symbols and changes can cause a backlash.


For example, Gap was forced to abandon a new logo only a week after it was launched due to thousands of complaints online and throughout social media from unhappy consumers.

What is Branding – Meaning

Branding is the process of stamping a product with some identifying name or mark or a combination of both. It is the process of assigning or giving some unique identification to the product which can clearly distinguish it from the similar other products rolling in the market. It is an attempt to create individuality which distinguishes a product from the rival products. Thus, it identifies the product for a buyer and provides an ample opportunity to the sellers to earn reputation and patronage. The brands, if catchy and suggestive, have an unfailing appeal to the consumers.

Brand means a mark made on commodities to indicate the quality and manufacturer. It is a symbol or mark that helps customer to instantly identify the product quality and its manufacturer by differentiating it from those of the competitors. To brand a product means to stamp it with some identifiable mark or name.

The American Marketing Association has defined a brand as – “a name, term, symbol, or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.” A brand distinguishes a product or service from similar offerings in the market on the basis of unique features that customers can easily identify.

Some classic examples of brand are SURF, ARIEL and NIRMA in case of detergent. LUX, LIRIL and REXONA in case of bath soaps.

In a good product brand, a firm finds not only important asset but also a highly sensitive sales promotion tool. It is futile to advertise a product and expect a positive response in the market without having a fair name. Hence, a good brand name can raise effectiveness of the promotional activities. It is a device to protect a firm’s market. In absence of a brand name, it would be quite difficult to bring into use the product identification process. Thus, a brand acquires consumers’ goodwill, provided the products deserve so.

Hence, while developing a new product, it becomes essential to brand a product. The marketers should consider it the focal point around which the marketing mix is prepared.

In recent years, branding has shifted from a relatively low-level tactical issue concerned with naming products/services, to a critical driver of contempo­rary marketing practice. Today, the combined value of many firm brands far outstrips the value of their tangible assets. And, of course, brands also have significant value for customers.

Brands are different from products. A leading marketer once said- “A product is something that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A competitor can copy a product; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.”

The traditional definition follows logically- A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design (letter, number, character), or combination, intended to identify products/services from one seller/group of sellers and to differentiate them from competition. Brands are a part of everyday life for firms/customers — logos, names, package designs, symbols, trademarks appear on virtually everything we eat, drink, drive, wear.

The most often used signifier is brand name, but other signifiers can be as (or more) important. We associate McDonald’s outlets with the color yellow; The Economic Times, city of Jaipur with pink. We recognize Absolut, Coca-Cola brands by the visual signifier of their bottles; Nike, Dabur are easily recog­nizable by their swoosh, tree, respectively.

Today, brands have meaning, importance far beyond these outward manifestations. By offering customers value via its brands, the firm secures value for share­holders. The brand has become a symbol around which the firm, customers construct relationships.

A collection of perceptions, associations customers hold about a product/service/company. This collection embodies values that create meaning for customers, represent a promise of the experience customers expect when they have contact with the brand.

What is Branding – Concept of Brand and Branding

Brand is any name, sign, symbol, image and their combination that companies use to differentiate their market offering than those of competitors market offering designed to satisfy same need. The dictionary of business and management defines a brand as a name, sign or symbol used to identify items or services of the seller(s) and to differentiate from the goods of competitors.

According to the American marketing association, “A brand name is a part consisting of a word, letter, and groups of words or letters to identify the goods or services of a seller or a group of seller and to differentiate them from those of the competitors.” Another author puts brand simply a Promise from a seller to consumer, perhaps this one presents real essence of brand.

Brand helps to differentiate a market offering based on tangible features and functional benefits as well as emotional and intangible appeal. The perception and feeling that people have in their mind about product or service is primarily connected with the brand. Exactly this aspect of brand makes it even more important.

Use of brand is not a new concept. In ancient times emperors use to put their specific mark on their belongings, traders and producers also put special and unique mark on their produce to signify and distinguish origin. Brand has emotional as well as tangible value to the company. Brands are tradable entities that are legally protected through copy rights.

For example – Air India’s Maharaja is its brand symbol. The legal version of a brand mark is the ‘trade mark’ e.g., ‘Ashok Masala’ and ‘Annapurna Atta’. A brand is given legal protection from being used by others because it is capable of exclusive approbation. A brand distinguishes a product or services from similar offerings on the basis of names, for example Lux, Dove, Rexona, Fiama de wills, Protex, Hamam etc. are all bathing soaps but we identify them differently.

Every organization must invest in building strong brand for itself as well as for its market offerings. Many practicing managers consider brand as most important asset that they have. In fact one CEO of a major retail organization has made on record statement that, if due to a disaster his organization looses all tangible assets such as building, inventory etc. he will rebuild the same business if his brand survives.

A competitor could buy everything that you have against your wishes, except your brand. Hence a strong brand is most valuable asset that company could posses. For example in 1993, Coca-Cola paid about Rs. 175 crore to buy Thums-up, Limca, Citra and Gold Spot brands. In 1994 Godrej soaps paid Rs. 12 crore to acquire the Translectra. In 1995, Smithkline Beecham paid Rs. 42 crore to acquire the Crocin brand.

Making products and services strong through associating a brand to them is branding. Branding is done to a product but resides in the mind of consumers. An author has articulately said that branding is about giving personality to a product, through which consumers know it and make them to believe what product can do for them.

Actually branding help consumers to develop a mindset with respect to product that guides them in a purchasing situation.

What is Branding – Objectives

The following are the important objectives of branding:

1. To help consumers to remember the product.

2. To deliver the product message clearly.

3. To reach the targeted customers emotionally (For example, consumers have emotional attachments with brands like Tata, Godrej, etc.)

4. To make consumers loyal to the product. When people have a positive experience with a memorable brand, they are more likely to purchase that product again than competing brands.

5. To increase the familiarity of the product in the target market.

6. To give a premium image for the product in the market. Premium image helps firms to charge high price (For example, ‘Bata’ foot wears, ‘Louis Philippe’ shirts).

7. To easily expand the product line. Well established brands help firms to introduce new products in the market.

8. To reduce the expenses of marketing. People will search, find and purchase established brands. Company is not required to spend more on advertisements and sales promotion.

What is Branding – Characteristics of a Good Brand

Branding is an important strategy to differentiate the product from its competitors.

So a good brand must have the following characteristics to be a unique one:

1. Well-known – A good brand should be well known to the customers. Without awareness, nothing else counts; a brand can’t be in people’s purchase consideration sets unless they are aware of the brand.

2. Relevant – The brand must be perceived to be relevant to people’s hopes, needs and desires.

3. Differentiated – To stand out among competitive alternatives, the brand must be unique in ways that matter to customers.

4. Customer-Centric – Only when the brand knows its customers and their needs well, can it deliver exceptional purchase and usage experiences.

5. Trustworthy – This implies being honest and authentic, consistent and predictable, reliable and dependable, and always delivering on its promises.

6. Innovative – While a brand can succeed for a while without being innovative, ultimately, given today’s hyper-competitive environment, brands must anticipate customer needs and surprise and delight their customers with a constant stream of relevant innovations.

7. Likeable – Brands can and do create emotional connections with their customers; to do so, they should share values with their customers, possess admirable qualities, and be likeable and easy to work with.

8. Accessible – To convert brand preference into brand purchase, brands must be easy to find and purchase; they must be accessible and convenient.

9. Popular – While brands can be overexposed and certain exclusive brands thrive on their exclusivity, in general, strong brands are perceived to be very popular, much sought after and possessing positive momentum; strong brands receive significant “buzz”.

10. Valuable – When all of a brand’s functional, emotional, experiential and self- expressive customer benefits are weighed against the cost (money and time) of acquiring and using the brand, its value must be perceived to be good, excellent or superior.

What are the characteristics of a successful Brand?

The essential characteristics of a successful brand are as follow:

1. Superior Product Quality:

Companies like Sony, BMW, Woodland, Nike, etc., have developed a very strong brand image in the market because their products are known worldwide for their excellent quality. A strong brand image goes automatically with quality and consistency.

The confidence in the customer’s minds about quality of products is the first step in developing a successful brand. When Sony launches a new product, potential customers do not enquire about the product quality as they feel that the brand stands for quality.

2. Pioneers in a Way:

Dell imbrued upon a new distribution channel for PCs and servers. It had a channel through which customers could order PCs, notebooks, etc., independent of time and place; it also pioneered the concept of individualized customization in the PC market. Likewise, Sony innovated the Walkman and miniaturized electronics. Sony is known to bring out products, which are very small using miniature technology. It is only to be expected that Sony will bring out still smaller electronic products. Thus, it has a safe pass to premium pricing.

3. Differentiation from Competition:

An organisation is required to differentiate its offerings from that of competitors, to develop successful brands. The distinction must be clear in the minds of customers. If this is accomplished, customers will recognise and appreciate the unique aspect of the product. The quality of service provided by a brand over a period of time will become a hallmark of the brand.

Volvo designs all its vehicles with the utmost safety standards, ahead of anyone else in the industry. This gives it an identity of being the undisputed leader when it comes to safe automobiles. Bose speakers use the highest quality woofer components, making their products outstanding.

4. Additional Services:

Service stations of Maruti available almost in every spot in India, giving it an edge over other players. This gives Maruti customer preference. This is because customers know that whenever and wherever they have a problem with their Maruti cars, a Maruti service station is “never far away”, as the slogan says.

Likewise, Apollo Tyres conducts a free checkup for all its customers for the first year and even replaces the tyres, if required. This type of service instils confidence in consumers about the accountability and longevity of the company’s products. Not all companies can match the same level of service. Such service accompanying a product is one of the characteristics of a successful brand.

What is Branding – 4 Essential Components of a Successful Brand

Whether you are building the brand for your firm’s product or your personal brand, the process involves the following four essential components:

Component # 1. Deliver a Quality Product:

The product should attract a positive reaction from consumers, whether that’s achieved through packaging, delivery, or the value it offers to users. If a consumer does not perceive value in using a particular product, he or she will not remain a customer for very long. A strong brand provides continued value and quality to customers over time.

Southwest Airlines has accomplished this by consistently offering low fares and refusing to charge baggage fees, even as other airlines have begun doing so.

Component # 2. Create a Consistent Brand Image:

All of the firm’s marketing decisions, promotions, and employees should reinforce the brand by pro­viding a consistent experience in the minds of consumers. Mountain Dew’s efforts to be seen as a youthful, energetic, and extreme brand would be compromised if it began promoting its image by sponsoring senior golf tournaments and advertising in business trade mag­azines.

For your personal brand, this step is equally important. How you dress for work, how you treat others at your office, and the quality of the work you produce combine to create a narrative that becomes your brand.

An inconsistent brand image, such as doing a great job on a presentation but then showing up 10 minutes late to the office or dressing unprofessionally, will reduce the likelihood that your organization views you as someone on the fast track toward advancement and promotion.

Component # 3. Create Consistent Brand Messaging:

As with brand image, brand messaging should be consistent and concise. It should be easy to remember and remind consumers about the product attributes they care about most. Marketers commonly make the mistake of trying to share all of the individual good things about their organization’s product.

Too many different messages can potentially confuse customers as to why they should purchase a specific brand. Auto insurance company GEICO has succeeded in providing one consistent brand message through a variety of ad concepts – a promise to save consumers money on their car insurance.

Component # 4. Capture Feedback:

Since the real power of a brand exists in the minds of consumers, marketers must always capture and analyze customer feed­back. Companies with strong brands are typically great listeners and use a variety of marketing research to better understand the thoughts, feelings, and concerns of their customers.

For example, Chick-Fil-A offers random customers the opportunity to receive a free chicken sandwich if they go online and fill out a survey about their experience with the res­taurant within 48 hours of their visit. The survey captures feedback on the quality of the food, the portion size of the order, the cleanliness of the restaurant, and the friendliness of the employees, all of which impact the company’s brand image.

Chick-Fil-A then uses these data, which are tied to a specific restaurant and time of day, to identify potential problems and improve every part of the dining experience. Capturing and responding to feedback contributed to Chick-Fil-A being recognized as a top restau­rant brand in customer satisfaction by research firm J.D. Power. Firms can also use social media tools to gather data about their brand.

You will receive feedback on the success of your personal brand from various stakeholders in your life, including your friends, family, classmates, managers, coworkers, and professors. Consistently monitor­ing your personal brand will allow you to see what changes need to be made.

For example, if your firm continues to pass you over for a promotion, you should ask what it is about your brand that might be keeping you from a higher position. Is it the way you approach your job or perhaps how you dress (think of this as personal packaging) that might be sending the wrong message?

In the same way that a firm analyzes both the positive and negative feedback it receives for a product, so should you reflect on the feedback you are getting throughout your academic and professional career.

Understanding the components of a successful brand is important for a firm both internally and externally. Internally, a strong brand drives cohesion and helps an organization build the capacity and skills to implement its mission. Externally, a strong brand results in trust among the firm’s many constituents, be they cus­tomers, donors to a nonprofit organization, suppliers, or communities.

If a firm successfully executes on these four components and develops a successful brand, it can begin to benefit from the brand equity it creates.

What is Branding – Brand Building Process

The steps involved in creating and managing the branding of a store and more importantly, communicating the brand require an integrated approach and involvement of everyone from shop assistant to the chief executive officer. We need to consider five factors for building strong brands.

The five factors that are important are clear brand identity, integrated communication, corporate brand, consumer relationships, symbols, and slogans. Even a strong brand can be strengthened by excellent brand marketing by reinforcing the customers’ experience. But a poorly merchandised or staffed store which undercuts its marketing message cannot be saved by excellent brand marketing.

Although brand awareness can be created by an engaging TV commercial and it can also prompt customers to visit the store, but in case their experience differs from the advertising message, they shall not believe the advertisement and will surely believe their experience. The traditional brand marketing helps to open the doors for more customer service but the customers’ negative in-store experience closes those doors. Strong brand equity of retailers can be built by performance but not by promises. Retail is a service and retail brands are service brands.

Retail banking is the key area of the service retailing. It refers to the transactions and interactions made between the individual customers and banks. The product offering in retail banking is wide in nature, and includes savings account, fixed accounts, loans, etc. Related ancillary services include credit cards or depository services.

Retail banking in India is not a new phenomenon. The typical products offered in the Indian retail banking segment are housing loans, consumer loans for purchase of durables, auto loans, credit cards, and educational loans. While new generation private sector banks like HDFC and Axis have been able to create a niche in this area of loans and financing, the public sector banks like SBI and Central Bank of India have not lagged behind. Leveraging their vast branch network and outreach, public sector banks have aggressively forayed to garner a larger slice of the retail pie.

While retail banking offers phenomenal opportunities for growth, the challenges are equally daunting. There is a need for constant innovation in retail banking. In bracing for tomorrow, a paradigm shift in bank financing through innovative products, and mechanisms involving constant up gradation and revalidation of the banks’ internal systems and processes, is called for.

Banks now need to use retail as a growth trigger. This requires product development and differentiation, innovation, and business process reengineering, micro-planning, marketing, prudent pricing, customisation, technological up gradation, home/electronics/mobile banking, cost reduction, and cross-selling.

Customers, when discount taper/start reducing and new entities rapidly enter into the market, need something else for instant gratification. As said by experts, “Instant gratification is a psychological need for several buyers. It is something you cannot explain, but it needs to be catered to”. For example, buyers want a phone in their pocket as soon as they pay for it, and they want to try the shoes they have bought immediately.

This demands for express delivery, which comes at a premium in the United States and Europe but may initially be offered for free in India as e-tailing firms seek consumer mindshare. Today’s first-time customers are bored of making a series of choices before taking on their planned purchases. They decide their loyalty rather than the retailer.

Numerical values such as profit margins and market share are included in quantitative brand equity, but it fails to capture qualitative elements such as prestige and associations of interest. Branding the store and store brands are also called “Private Labels”. The products of these brands belong to the retailers, for example, “UMM” jackets at Pantaloons or “Stop” apparels at Shoppers Stop. Private labels are the brands the retailer owns that compete with national brands, for example “UMM” of Pantaloons competes with “ARROW” that belongs to Madura Garments, which is an integral apparel manufacturer and fashion brand.

Branding the store refers to creating brand equity for the retail store or chain. For example, Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop, or Westside are all brands of stores that have created a unique identity in the minds of their customers. It is important for retailers to create brand equity before introducing their product under the store brands or private labels. Do retailers have to invest in an intangible assets brand? In the past, the most important factor for the success of retailing was location. Today’s consideration is value. This is the basis of the success and value proposition of Big bazaar.

What is Branding – 5 Main Types of Brands

The brands may be of the following types:

1. Individual Brand Name:

Each product has a special and unique brand name such as Aerial, Surf etc. The manufacturer has to promote each individual brand in the market separately. This creates a practical difficulty in promotion. Otherwise, it is the best marketing strategy (Art or tactics).

2. Family Brand Name:

Family brand name is limited to one line of the product i.e., products which complete the sales cycle e.g. Amul for milk products, Kissan for fruit squashes, Ponds for cosmetics etc. Family brand name help in combined advertising and sales promotion. However, if one member of the family brand is rejected by consumers, the prestige of all other products under the family brand may be adversely affected.

The market has to take extraordinary care to guard against this danger. The method of branding assumes that end-uses of all products under a family brand are similar and the products are not dissimilar.

3. Umbrella Brand:

We may have for all products the name of the company or the manufacturer. All products such as soaps, chemicals, textiles, engineering goods etc. manufactured by the Tata concern have ‘Tata’ as one umbrella brand. Such a device will also entail low promotion cost and minimize marketing effort.

The pulling effect for all products will be considerable when the company’s name or the name of the business house is outstanding and shining in the market. However, a single bad experience in any one of the line products, a solitary failure, may be very dangerous for the rest of the products, sold by a particular business house under the umbrella brand.

4. Combination Device:

Tata house is using a combination device. Each product has an individual name but it also has the umbrella brand to indicate the business house producing the product. Under this method side by side with the product image, we have the image of the producer also. Many companies use this device profitably.

5. Private or Middle Man’s Brands:

Branding can be done by manufacturers or distributors. In India, this practice is popular in the woolen hosiery, sports goods, etc. It helps small manufacturers who have limited resources and who have to rely on middleman for marketing.

The manufacturer merely produces goods as per specification and requirements of distributors and he need not worry about marketing. Middleman enjoys more freedom in pricing products sold under their own brands. They have more control over distribution.

What is Branding – Role of Brands

1. Brand helps to identify the maker or manufacture of a product and offers assurance to buyers about a minimum level of performance.

2. A brand helps to create differential image in mind of consumers about similar product.

3. Brand helps consumers to make quick purchase decisions.

4. Firms use brand for managing inventory and billing.

5. A well established brand helps firm to ensure smooth stream of revenue and command better price for its products.

6. A brand is an important asset for the company that has financial value.

7. Brand helps sales people of the company to ensure placing of product on prominent shelve position in a store.

8. Brand poses considerable resistant to new entrants in the market and usually act as a source of competitive advantage.

9. An established brand also offers a good platform for launching new products either within same category or new categories.

What is Branding – Strategies: Brand Extensions, Brand Revitalization, Co-Branding and Pri­vate Label Brands (With Examples)

When choosing a brand strategy, marketers seek to maximize their brand equity without diluting profits or damaging the attractiveness of the brand. As always, the brand strategy should align with the overall marketing strategy the firm established in its marketing plan and be implemented with the goal of helping the firm accom­plish its marketing objectives. Companies have a number of choices as they decide which brand strategies are best for their organization.

We’ll discuss some common strategies—including:

1. Brand extensions,

2. Brand revitalization,

3. Co-branding, and

4. Pri­vate label brands.

1. Brand Extension:

Companies that already possess a strong brand and high brand equity may pursue a brand extension strategy. Brand extension is the process of broadening the use of an organization’s current brand to include new products.

Unlike product exten­sions, in which a firm expands within the same product category (e.g., Coke and Coke Zero are both soft drinks), brand extensions typically involve taking a brand name into a different product category. A brand extension strategy enables new products to profit from the recognition and acceptance the brand already enjoys.

For example, McDonald’s extended its brand beyond convenience and Happy Meals to include healthier items such as – salads, yogurt parfaits, and premium coffee. Crest extended its brand beyond toothpaste to include dental floss, mouth­wash, and toothbrushes.

Dove has extended its brand from traditional soap prod­ucts into new product categories like hair care. Because Dove customers already associate the Dove brand with quality, they were able to extend that association to shampoo and other hair care products. The company employed this same strategy to enter into the lotion and deodorant markets as well.

As a company implements a brand extension strategy, it must remain mindful of the following two potential concerns:

i. It must ensure that the extension lives up to the quality consumers expect from the brand. If the quality of the extension products does not meet customer expectations, the firm jeopardizes sales, consumer trust, and brand loyalty.

ii. Brand extensions must be implemented with an eye toward avoiding can­nibalization. Cannibalization occurs when new products take sales away from the firm’s existing products rather than generating additional revenues or profits through new sales. For example, when KFC introduced its new grilled chicken products, the company was targeting customers looking for great taste and healthier options.

But rather than winning over new custom­ers, KFC soon realized that the grilled chicken seemed to be purchased mostly by existing KFC customers, who were buying it instead of the fried version. Despite a major promotional push, sales fell by 4 percent at some KFC loca­tions in the first full year after the launch of the product, in part due to the cannibalizing effect it had on the company’s traditional products.

2. Brand Revitalization:

Brands do not die natural deaths. However, they can be destroyed through mismanagement. Some firms mismanage brands into a position from which they cannot recover, but others can be revitalized. Brand revitalization, or rebranding, is a strategy to recapture lost sources of brand equity and identify and establish new sources of brand equity.

Revitalization often begins with an investment in rebuilding trust with consumers. Following the major scandals from the past decade related to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, mar­keters at BP responded to consumer demand for more openness, more social responsibility, and more integrity.

They did so by instituting a long-term strategy to rebuild trust that included donating millions of dollars to help the environment and promote tourism in the Gulf region.

Similarly, Toyota marketers embarked on a brand revitalization campaign with the motto “Moving Forward,” following the largest recall in the history of the company. Their efforts included advertisements communicating the company’s desire to start fresh with consumers.

By fixing defective products and promoting a brighter future, Toyota was able to begin rebuilding its brand image and was successful in increasing positive perceptions of the brand in the year following the start of the revitalization campaign.

3. Co-Branding:

As an alternative to extending its brand through new product development, a firm can choose to increase its own brand equity by leveraging the equity of another brand using a co-branding strategy. Co-branding is a strategy in which two or more companies issue a single product in an effort to capitalize on the equity of each com­pany’s brand.

For example, the menu at casual dining restaurant T.G.I. Friday’s has an entire section dedicated to Jack Daniel’s-flavoured food. The partnership started in 1997 and continues to be a customer favourite. Another example involves Betty Crocker, the brand introduced in 1921 and owned by General Mills, which has been involved in numerous successful co-branding campaigns.

The company has issued new products with the likes of Hershey’s and Sunkist to create easy-to-make food products that leverage the equity of multiple brands to attract customers.

Cold Stone Creamery restaurants and the Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons have co-branded nearly 150 restaurant locations in the U.S. and Canada. The co-branding initiative aims to leverage the complementary strengths of each partner to provide value for customers and generate profits for both companies. The Cold Stone Creamery desserts sell mostly during the evening hours, while Tim Hortons, known for its coffee and baked goods, is popular in the morning and over the lunch hour.

Their partnership has allowed Tim Hortons, which faced stiff competition from Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s, to expand into the American market and given Cold Stone Creamery a new way to entice customers into its stores in the morning and afternoon hours.

Co-branding has many benefits, but if one of the brands involved receives nega­tive publicity, it could impact the co-branding partner in a negative way. For exam­ple, consider a rental car company that enters into a co-branding agreement with a hotel chain to provide additional value for business travellers.

If the hotel chain receives negative publicity because of poor customer service, the co-branded rental car company is likely to be negatively impacted in the minds of consumers because of its association with the underperforming brand.

To avoid potential pitfalls, mar­keters should develop processes to select appropriate co-branding partners. Orga­nizations like AT&T have developed a co-branding decision tool that helps guide the firm’s marketers as they make decisions related to co-branding opportunities.

4. Private Label Brands:

In recent years, as a sluggish economy forced consumers to closely monitor their spending, more and more retailers have begun pursuing their own branding strategy—private label brands. Private label brands, sometimes referred to as store brands, are products developed by a retailer and sold only by that specific retailer.

For example, Walgreens has developed its own private label aspirin that competes against the well-known Bayer brand. Private label goods and services are available in a wide range of industries, from food to cosmetics to web hosting.

They are often positioned as lower cost alternatives to well-known manufacturer brands, which are managed and owned by the manufacturer. Private label brands like Walgreens’s aspirin can cost up to 50 percent less than Bayer aspirin.

What is Branding – Strategic Framework for Branding (With Examples)

The brand communication is the first step to connect with customers. It is through brand communication strategies that the customers will have a perception about a brand, will like it or will want to be associated to it.

The brand communication is done by above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) activities. ALT activities include the television commercials and the newspaper advertisements. It also links choosing which celebrity should be the Brand Ambassador. BTL activities include road shows, outdoor media publicity, etc. Brand Communication consists of message communication and visual communication.

1. Visual Communication:

In markets where there are more illiterate people for example, rural markets in India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, etc., the easy way for the brand to get recognized is through visuals. There is a saying that ‘A picture is worth thousand words’. Visuals create user imagery in the mind-set of target consumers.

Some components which aid in the visual communication for a brand are:

a. Logo:

Logo is a visual symbol to differentiate a brand from its parent organization. Logos play a crucial role in forming a link in the consumers mind. Logos can be symbolic, a typical font, symbols, etc. For example, the logo Thumbs Up and Lux.

b. Character:

Brand Characters are mostly animated versions of an individual brand of the company. Sometimes characters can also be live human beings, animals objects, etc. Character enhances the individual imagery of a brand from the company. For example, Amul butter girl and Vodafone dog are the characters which were long associated with the brands, and the brands was identified with them.

c. Emblem:

Emblems are mostly used for corporate communication or corporate branding. It personifies the visual identity for the corporate image. They are also used by nations, organizations, etc. the objective is to depict the entire organization in a single visual communication. For example, Wipro’s new logo is designed to show all the business verticals with which it deals.

d. Mnemonic:

Mnemonics are abstract symbols either for individual brand or sometimes for the whole company. The visual does not have any relevance to the original brand or product and is mostly used to register the brand in the consumer’s mind. For example, Bacardi bat and Eveready’s cat.

e. Brand Elements:

Brand Elements are distinctive elements for brands. The first being the colours for example, Mc Donald’s use red and yellow, Coke use red and white. The next is shapes, mostly depicted through packaging, geometric shapes like Toblerone, square shaped Garnier Lights, rectangular shape like perfumes, etc. The last being font; brands portrays unique fonts to differentiate themselves from the clutter, for example in Dell, the ‘e’ is written at 45 degrees angle. In IBM there are stripes through the font.

2. Message Communication:

Message communication deals with the communication used to interest the customer, explain the benefits to him, and enlighten him about the product. It is what the brand talks about with the consumers. Message include words that inspire and try to build an emotional connect with the customers but, are presented in a way that strikes a chord with the consumers. It includes the BAF and punch line of the brand and the body copy of the advertisement.

a. Benefit, Attributes and Features (BAF):

Message communication is usually formulated on the lines of BAF Pyramid (Benefits, Attributes and Features). When a brand is using a rational appeal, it highlights the functional and emotional benefits of using the brand. In such a case attributes of the brand and its features becomes an important part of the communication message.

b. Punchline:

A Punchline positions the brand in the minds of the consumers. The basic function is to carry the USP of the brand. It is capable of changing the customer’s mind-set and creating a new set of beliefs conducive to the growth of the brand. For example, Coca Cola used the punchline ‘thanda matlab coco cola’ and Raymond uses ‘The Complete Man’.

c. Body Copy:

It is the real communication message that lies in the advertisement. Body Copy plays a vital role in the print advertisements. It has two roles to play; to interest the customer so that they get interested in the product and remember the name of the brand, and why they liked it.

The print advertisement persuades the reader; the first thing that attracts the reader is the headline and the image or the picture used in the advertisement. Then the punchline conveys a message that entices the customer to read the body copy, and finally the body copy will make the customer do an in depth research, induce a trail or look for the product in the market.

3. Brand Positioning:

Brand Positioning is a way to grab the customer’s space of mind differentiated from the competitors. Positioning is done to create perceptions in the consumer’s mind. Appropriate positioning clarifies what the brand is all about; it helps the customers to understand the brand and how it is different from the competitors. It also gives the customer the reasons to buy the brand.

AVIS choose the positioning statement ‘We are No 2, so we try harder’. It clearly made the point in the customer’s mind.

4. Developing Brand Image:

A brand is intangible and exists in the mind of the customers. Brands have a perceived image in the consumer’s mind which is built by the products, services and communication covered by the brand. An image is a synthesis made by the public of all the various brand signals, For example, brand name, colours, characters, music, visual symbols, products, advertisements, sponsoring, patronage, and articles. Consumers use these images to relate to the brand.

For example, Vodafone has red color in its logo because it wants to create a vibrant identity and accordingly its image is of a young, enthusiastic and vibrant player in the telecom market.

5. Brand Attributes:

Brand attributes are the summation of functional and emotional associations that are embedded into a brand. Attributes are the pillars on which the brand establishes its core brand identity. They also arise from the consumer benefits of the brand usage. For Maruti Suzuki, the attributes that are associated would be cost effectiveness, reliability, service availability, etc.

6. Develop Brand Personality:

Brand Personality is a culmination of human characteristics into the brand persona. A brand can be funny, serious, sincere, rugged, etc. A brand personality forms the points of differentiation of the brand. It comes at a later and evolved stage of brand process. At this stage the consumer has various interactions with the brand. At various instances his experiences have added to his knowledge of the brand. Thus, he has an image built and his understanding of the brand is more.

A personality is what the consumer will try to be associated with when he chooses a brand, the consumer will connect to the brand if he feels the brand’s personality resonates his own attitude or statement.

7. Creates Brand Relationship:

Companies always strive for loyal customer base. Retention is easier than searching for new customers. Brand builds a relation with the customers by connecting with them on an emotional level. This connect is only possible if the brand delivers consistently on the deliverables and its core; all the encounters with the brand gives the consumer the same experience.

8. Brand Connects with the Consumer:

Connection with the brand is developed after the customer feels enough passion for the brand, and the values that the brand stands for. The customers feel proud to own the brand. They feel that the brand depicts their personality. The marketers try to develop meaningful connections with this customer base. It reduces the switching losses and helps them raise their brand to a new level all together.

What is Branding – The Role of Social Media in Branding

The idea that firms can manage their brands by simply crafting messages onto print and digital materials and then handing them down from the corporate office is becoming more outdated every day. Consumers spend more time than ever using social media, trading opinions and feedback on everything they come into contact with.

Marketing professionals who understand the impact social media can have on building their brands and connecting directly with their audience will be positioned for success. Understanding the impact of social media also involves understanding the risks that accompany implementing such strategies.

McDonald’s dis­covered this firsthand when it launched #McDStories on Twitter as a way to encourage customers to share fun or heart-warming stories about their experiences at the restaurant. What McDon­ald’s marketers did not expect, and thus were not prepared for, was people sharing negative stories about the McDonald’s brand.

Any consumer who searched for “McDStories” immediately saw thousands of tweets describing awful experiences users had with McDonald’s.

Branding through Customer Service:

Many customers use social media to engage with brands on a customer-service level. Questions from customers on social media sites allow companies to provide direct feedback and potentially resolve a specific problem faster than they could have other­wise. While social media can spread complaints like wildfire, responding in a timely fashion can show­case the company’s commitment to excellence.

Though social media facilitate the speed and efficiency with which firms can respond to customer service issues, they also raise the expectations cus­tomers have for how quickly their problems should be resolved. According to Nielsen, 42 percent of 18-34 year olds acknowledge that they expect customer support within 12 hours of a question or complaint.

Social Media Branding Goals:

Social media can support the goal of building a successful brand in two main ways:

1. By allowing the firm to develop deeper relationships with customers.

2. By generating positive word-of-mouth com­munication about the brand across social networks.

Mexican-style fast food chain Chipotle has kept these two goals in mind as it implements social media activities as part of its marketing strategy. Chipotle has developed a robust online following, and its active social media team inter­acts regularly with those followers. The team responds promptly to questions posed via the company’s website and on its Facebook page.

It thanks people with positive feedback and assists with resolving customer service issues. In addi­tion, the company has made its mission of “food with integrity” apparent on its Facebook page by creating events for dates when it will visit farmers’ markets. Chipotle also sponsors events such as the Cultivate Festival, an outdoor party focused on food, music, and ideas, with demos by nationally known chefs.

The company posts photos of the traveling festival to Face- book, which helps cultivate, interest in the event. Marketers should consistently evaluate their social media presence to determine if these two key goals are being achieved, and if not, what strategies they can take to use social media more effectively.

Monitoring a Social Brand:

Regardless of what prompts consumers to follow and engage with a brand, marketers should closely monitor what is being said about their brands on social media. Companies can use a number of tools to monitor their social media presence, whether they’re a Fortune 500 firms, a small business, or a local non-profit organiza­tion.

Some of the most commonly used tools include the following:

1. Google Alerts – Firms can set up alerts about their company, good, service, or brand and receive an e-mail whenever they appear online. Firms can also set up alerts to be notified when consumers search the Internet using keywords or industry terminol­ogy that is important to their business.

2. Social Mention – While firms can set up individual tools for specific forums like Technorati, which functions as a search engine for blogs, Social Men­tion captures a brand across most social media sites. The Social Mention search engine monitors over 100 platforms, isolating relevant keywords and measur­ing a brand’s impact online.

3. Twitter Search – Tweeters don’t necessarily use hashtags or handles when they talk about a company or brand. Searching Twitter by good, service, or company name may prove more fruitful than relying on mention alerts and will allow the firm to remain informed and focused on customers’ conversations and experiences.

These and other tools are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. Marketers who use these tools to monitor their brands are able to recognize potential threats to their brand equity quickly and develop solutions. They are also better prepared to facilitate an ongoing dialogue with customers to strengthen brand loyalty over time.

Firms that monitor the social profiles they build and integrate the various ways they communicate with customers online can successfully leverage social media to help build a successful brand.

What is Branding – Global Branding

Building a strong brand is a complicated task, and the challenge is even greater when the branding becomes global. A global brand is a brand that is mar­keted under the same name in multiple countries.

The most valuable global brands in 2012 are based on three criteria – (1) the financial perfor­mance of the branded product, (2) the role the brand plays in influencing con­sumers, and (3) the ability of the brand to draw a premium price or significantly impact the company’s profits.

Coca-Cola ranks at the top of the list as the most valuable global brand. The Atlanta-based company has had marketing success throughout the world, includ­ing in Mexico, where it was introduced back in 1898 and registered as a brand in 1903. To expedite its entry into the Mexican market, Coca-Cola provided free refrigerators to restaurants and taco restaurants to encourage distribution and trial.

The strategy worked as increasing numbers of Mexican consumers tried the product and Coke became widely distributed even in the remotest parts of Mexico. Coca-Cola has used a similar strategy for success in many developed and emerging economies.

The Global Strength of U.S. Brands:

The fact that the American economy rebounded from the financial crisis that began in December 2007 at a slightly faster pace than many European countries enhanced the marketing value of U.S. brands in the global marketplace. In addition, American companies in general benefit from the collective success of U.S. tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google, due to the cachet of Silicon Valley in the global imagina­tion.

The Internet and the language associated with it are rooted in American brands and American imagery, increasing marketers’ success building American brands globally. Also, social net­working sites such as – Facebook and Twitter have been important tools in promot­ing American brands internationally. Research indicates that emerging middle-class consumers in developing countries desire American-sounding brand names.

These socio-economic groups in China, India, Brazil, Russia, and other developing coun­tries associate status with American brands. Consumers in China, for example, seek brands such as – Budweiser, General Motors, Tiffany, Jack Daniels, Levi’s, Harley- Davidson, KFC, and Pizza Hut.

Adapting Brands to the Global Market:

Even with the strength of U.S. brands overseas, global branding is mainly about finding the right balance between being global and being local. With the abun­dance of digital platforms, companies can no longer follow different brand strate­gies in different countries. They must adopt a more unified branding approach.

While the brand image has to remain unaltered, the ways to communicate it and make it relevant to local consumers should adapt to each specific context. The big­gest challenge in global branding is to remain easily recognizable at any location and, at the same time, be compatible with the local culture and traditions.

Marketing professionals often appeal to local culture through packaging. Cultural differences can greatly affect how product packaging is perceived. For example, mayonnaise is often sold in large two-pound bags in Chile since the average consumer there eats several pounds of mayonnaise each year, much more than the average U.S. consumer.

When KFC first entered the Japanese market, its traditional “bucket” packaging did not meet the higher standards of Japanese consumers for food packaging and presentation. In response, KFC modified its packaging and presentation strategy, laying the chicken neatly in wide boxes.

A common mistake U.S. marketers make is to group nations, for example, Asian countries, together and assume that those consumers have similar tastes and brand preferences. Such a short-sighted view can cause problems as brands enter international markets. For example, Japanese consumers are the most brand conscious and status conscious of all developed countries and are generally accepting of foreign brands.

Research suggests that Japanese consumers prefer global brands that contribute to their sense of identity and self-expression. Many of the most successful brands in Japan are Gucci, Coach, Chanel, and other prestigious names.

Korean consumers share a preference for premium brands, but, in contrast to Japanese consumers, they hold relatively more negative attitudes toward foreign brands. For U.S. brands to be success­ful in Korea, marketers often look to rebrand their products or even pursue a co-branding strategy with a local brand.

The coming decade is likely to bring continued economic challenges to many parts of the world, making it increasingly necessary for marketers to establish truly global brands that help them attract and retain customers, mitigate potential risks, and successfully manage their brand in whatever geographic location offers their firm the greatest chance for growth and success.

What is Branding – Branding for Non-Profit Organizations

When it comes to building a strong brand, for-profit firms like Gucci have a clear reason for doing so— they need to generate profits by satisfying customer needs and wants with products that customers perceive as better than competing prod­ucts.

On the other hand, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and other non-profit organizations have complex missions that are hard to achieve, difficult to measure directly, and typically require a number of partners. Non-profits also have many customers, or stakeholder groups, that are critical to their suc­cess.

The complexity of both the goals and the audi­ences that non-profit marketers have to address makes branding even more critical for them. The organiza­tion’s brand has to help motivate donors, staff, volun­teers, beneficiaries, and partners.

An effective non-profit brand should be unique, pleasing to the eye and ear, easy to remember, and, perhaps most importantly, reflective of the work the organization does. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) provides an example of successful branding by a non-profit organization.

It has a portfolio of activi­ties and partners, with programs spanning advocacy, market transformation, community-based conserva­tion, and climate change; however, the brand image it established with its panda logo has been tied most closely to only its most well-known activity – species conservation.

WWF marketers addressed this by developing internal story themes to help align the brand image with the brand mark so that the recognizable panda conveys the breadth of the organization’s work beyond species conservation with­out compromising both clarity and emotional pull.

Non-profit Brand Equity:

Like a for-profit firm, once a non-profit organization creates a brand image that matches its mission, it should seek to establish and increase its brand equity. A non-profit with high brand equity can use the value stakeholders associate with the organization to raise the funds and support it needs to accomplish its mission.

The Girl Scouts and the Make a Wish Foundation are examples of non-profit organizations that command high brand equity. They were named the top non-profit brands in their respective categories in 2012. The most valuable non-profit brands in 2012 across several categories are youth interest, animal welfare, health, social service, disability, international aid, and environmental.

The analysis, by the marketing firm Harris Interactive, used surveys to determine how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand, and whether they would do business with or donate to the brand.

Measuring Non-profit Brand Equity:

Similar to for-profit firms, non-profit marketers should regularly measure their brand equity using the tools. Social media tools are particularly important for non-profit marketers because of their low cost rela­tive to other traditional brand-building media, such as – television advertising.

While non-profit organizations often do not have the resources to enhance their brand image through expensive ad campaigns or sponsorships, social media help to level the playing field by offering non-profit marketers low-cost (and often free) tools to communicate with followers and potential donors about their work.

A non-profit organization that can develop a strong brand image is far more likely to align supporters with the organization’s mission and deepen their commitment as donors, volunteers, and advocates.

What is Branding – Structuring and Organization of Brands by a Company

The structuring and organization of brands by a company in terms of how they are related to or different from each other in known as Brand Architecture.

This structuring and organization has two important elements:

i. The way the brands are named.

ii. The positioning of the brand.

A brand needs to grow while maintaining its reputation and profit. It capitalizes on the success of a product or service by means of successive extensions which deepen the relationship or which makes it possible to enter into new customer segment or new distribution circle.

For example, companies may follow corporate master brand strategy where they used the corporate brand name for all the products; or have category brand for different product category with numerous sub brands under each of them. Some companies prefer to have free standing brands without any endorsement by the parent or company brand for example, Vicks is a product brand. A company can structure its brands in different ways depending on the context and marketing strategy.

The brand construct and architecture have become more and more relevant by the day. The companies go for brand construct as it can help the company to highlight on its Benefits, Attributes and Features (BAF). The marketing has also evolved, now the base has become the benefits for the customers. The Features are primary and so are Attributes, at the deeper level what can connect the customers and make them stay with the brand will be Benefits.

The structuring of the brand is brand architecture whereas the actual inventory of brand with a company at a given point of time is brand portfolio. Old brands may be withdrawn or new brands be introduced at fairly frequent intervals or as deemed necessary.

Brand Construct deals with the components of a brand. These components are the backbone of the brand construct. These components constitute the brand as a whole. It gives a clear understanding of what goes in the brand and how it will be improved.


Brand Construct is ‘an initial step and the process of defining the brand’s vision, mission and the purpose of its existence, by layering itself in its central core, inner core and outer core so as to give it a life and present itself to the World’. – Dr Y. RamKishen

From the above mentioned definition, it can be inferred that:

i. Brand Construct is an initial step in the brand building process.

ii. It defines the brand’s Vision, Mission, and the Purpose.

iii. It is represented by Central Core, Inner Core and the Outer Core.

Brand Construct has three components:

1. Central Core (Brand Belief)

2. Inner Core (Brand Positioning and USP)

3. Outer Core (Physical Appearance and packaging)

1. Central Core:

The central core forms the Brand Platform (an intangible value proposition generated for the brand. For example, beauty for LUX and freshness for Liril). It is the composition of all associations that the customers have with the brand. It represents the ethics, values and what the brand stands for. The central core of the brand also includes mission and vision of the brand. It may be influenced by the company’s history, social initiatives and customer expectations of benefits from the brand.

2. Inner Core:

Inner core of the brand includes memory, images, feeling and vision. Inner core composes of the associations other than just how the product appears top the customer’s eye. It relates to the employees, customer service and benefits. The inner core is developed after the brand is bought and the customer is using the brand or is experiencing the same.

i. Memory:

All the interactions and experiences of the customer with the brand that get registered in the mind of the consumer is the memory of the brand. These memory recollections will associate positive or negative associations with the brand. Associations lead to form the attitude towards the brand.

ii. Images:

The brand name, colour, character, communications, products, services, etc., form an image in the consumer’s mind. Image is intangible and exists in the mind of the customer. All the perceptions about the brand help in achieving the same. For example, red colour of the Vodafone brand gives it an image of vibrant identity and accordingly its image of a young player in the telecom market.

iii. Feelings:

Feelings are a state of consciousness resulting from emotions. Thoughts created in the mind, lead to emotions which make a customer feel good or bad about a brand. Thus, brands have to be careful handling emotions and feelings of the customer. The best way is to set the expectations right and not cheat or mislead the customer.

iv. Vision:

Brand Vision is an aspirational statement of the brand. It states where the brand wants to see itself and aspires to be.

3. Outer Core:

The Outer core of the brand constitutes of the name, symbol, colour, and design.

i. Name:

The brand name helps in identifying a brand and differentiating it from others. A name is a label for a human, thing, place, animals, etc. Brand name also signifies the ownership of the brand. It is a company specific name for a particular product or service so as to give it an identity. For example, Apple, IBM, etc.

ii. Symbol:

They are the objects, pictures or other representations of ideas.

There are various types of symbols used by brands:

a. Word Symbol – These are typographic representations and there is little or no design. For example, Infosys.

b. Image Symbol – These symbols have images or graphics. This is used for generally well recognized and famous brands. For example, bitten apple.

c. Word Image Symbol – It is a combination of typographic and image symbols. For example, Mercedes Benz.

d. Design Symbol – These symbols signify phonetic meaning of a brand name. For example, IBM will be ‘eye- bee- M’.

iii. Colour:

The various colours signify different things. Companies should be careful in the choice of colours, according to what they want to communicate. For example, use of red colour shows passion, strength, vitality.

iv. Design:

It is a very broad term and its role is not just to create a first impression but, also leave a lasting impact. Design of a brand is beyond the logo and symbols, it has to do with the coherent style and consistency. It should be able to create a differentiator for the brand.

The brand construct gives a bird’s eye view of the brand DNA. After successfully implementing the brand construct, the brand team of the company will start working on the placement of the brand in the market place. Multiple brands, multiple markets, multiple segments provides immense challenges the brand will face in its future journey. In order to overcome this, the brand manager along with his brand team will define the architecture for the brand.

What is Branding – Brand Architecture (With Definition, Strategic Framework, Advantages, Disadvantages and Future)

Brand Architecture has high degree of strategic orientation and trends to remain stable for comparatively a longer period of time.

It is helpful in taking the following strategic decision:

1. In deciding the name of a new product that is if the product should be given a descriptive name to be expressed on the packaging or distributor shelves or trade shows.

2. The number of brand levels to be adopted, whether to use one brand name within the company, like Samsung uses Umbrella branding for all its product line. For example, TV, phone, digital camera, etc., or different brand name for different products like I- Mac and I-Pod for Apple.

3. If there should be a different name for the company and the commercial brand.

4. If the same architecture of the company should be used across the various countries. For example, in Europe and Asia should there can be a same or a different architecture.


Brand architecture is a ‘process of identifying, analyzing the brand portfolio to position and develop the brand on its elements so that it can be easily communicated to the target audience. It also helps in understanding the brand hierarchy, budget allocation to make an impact in the consumer’s mind’. – Dr Y. RamKishen

Strategic Framework for Brand Architecture:

Architecture helps in long term strategy planning for brand building. The framework of brand architecture helps the company to understand and distinguish between corporate brands, sub brands, and master brands.

The decision making in terms of allocation and sharing marketing resources (like advertising and promotions) become easier when the weightage of each brand in the portfolio is understood. Brand architecture protects the brand from being over-leveraged or diluted due to overstretching whims, messages or graphic design options.

1. Prepare a Brand Portfolio:

The first and foremost thing in deciding on a brand architecture is to prepare a brand portfolio, listing down all the brands and defining a category for them. The company might be having several brands and products registered under a trademark, etc.

When a company prepares a brand portfolio they have to keep in mind whether the product brands relate to the corporate brand image or not. What is the image and associations that are being drawn from the offerings, substantiate or weaken the corporate brand.

2. Why brand architecture is used?

Brand Architecture is necessary when the company is having a wide variety of products. It removes confusion and helps in focusing on the brands and growing the brands. If we take the example of Mahindra, it has separate divisions like Mahindra & Mahindra, M&M financial services, Mahindra Forgings, Mahindra Holiday & Resorts, Mahindra Life Space Developers, Mahindra Satyam, etc. This avoids confusion and helps for a concentrated effort on each vertical.

Brand Architecture will also help in avoiding cannibalization and also helps understand their product range and thus, helps in deciding the branding strategy for the entire range.

3. Multi Brand Strategy:

Companies can go for Multi Brand Strategy for their range of products depending on how much visibility they want to give to the corporate brand. It also depends on the synchronization that the corporate brand image will have with product brand. For example, Tata Group does not advertise its name with Taj Group of Hotels, Voltas, and Titan, etc.

4. Select the Brand Architecture:

The companies have to decide architecture for various countries as well. They may decide to go ahead with the same architecture across the world or they choose different Brand Architecture for different countries. For example, Unilever uses its power brand strategy across the world. It has 32 power brands and its corporate emblem shows 32 visuals signifying the 32 brands they are into as a part of their global strategy.

i. Product Brand Strategy:

When brands follow product brand strategy, their individual brands will be given more focus than their corporate brand. The company will start hitting the emotions of the customers. For example, Mire electronics is the brand and Onida is their product brand.

ii. Line Brand Strategy:

Line extension strategy is a way for brand extensions. Company may decide to launch new variants of an existing product. For example, Colgate launched Colgate Active Salt.

iii. Range Brand Strategy:

The number of variants and SKUs of the products coming from the same category for a company defines its range. For example, Sunsilk comes in various variants like Sunsilk Black, Sunsilk Pink, and Sunsilk Yellow, etc.

iv. Endorsing Brand Strategy:

In endorsed brands, the company uses a celebrity to endorse the brand. There should be some attributes that should match with the celebrity otherwise consumers will not be able to connect with the consumers. Marketers should look for the Brand Fit when deciding on the celebrity to endorse the brand. For example, Askhay Kumar for Thumbs Up is a perfect fit.

v. Umbrella Brand Strategy:

Umbrella Brand Strategy works well for some companies. In this case the entire product range comes with the corporate branding. For example, Samsung practices Umbrella branding. All the products from Samsung come with its corporate brand, i.e. Samsung.

vi. Source Brand Strategy:

Sometimes the brand can also speak about its source; here the source can be the corporate brand or the country of origin. It helps in the strategic decision for the companies whether to carry the corporate brand name across its products. For example, Fosters is from Australia, they promote it in their advertisements and Tata Group does not include their corporate brand Taj Group of Hotels.

5. Implement the Brand Strategy:

A company may follow any one of the strategy or a combination of more than one strategies depending upon the brand and its target audience. For example, LG uses a mix of Umbrella Brand Strategy along with Line Brand Strategy.

6. Brands Create Strong Brand Equity:

The successful implementation of an ingenious strategy helps a brand to become invincible. It leads to stronger bonds with its customers generating equity for the brand. For example, Taj Group of Hotels has developed equity over the years of its operations.

Advantages of Brand Architecture:

1. Easy for Segmenting the Brands and their Target Markets:

Brand Architecture helps the companies to segment the brands in verticals where they are able to focus on the brands in a concentrated manner. The target market for the various brands will also be different; architecture helps the companies overcome this problem. For example, LG houses, LG polymers, LG Electronics, etc.

2. Forms an Integral Part in the Brand Strategy Formulation:

Companies may consider architecture as a part of their strategy formulation, all this happens as the focus on each segment increases. For example, Sony has strategically divided its company in various verticals.

3. Helps in the Brand Positioning:

Company can select the brand architecture and then decide the branding strategy. For example, UB group has selected a platform for its brands and all the communication goes according to that strategy decided. The brand Kingfisher of the group is into Airlines, Beer, etc.

4. Helps in the Brand Portfolio Creation:

Portfolio analysis can be done by using BCG matrix. Brand Architecture helps in deciding the portfolio of the company as it will create segments and then within those segments brand managers along with the strategy team will be able to decide which brand is profitable and which is not.

Disadvantages of Brand Architecture:

1. Wrong Architecture Planning can Sometimes Ruin the Brand:

The brand may not be able to connect with the target market.

2. Lack of Proper Implementation can Lead to Cannibalization of the Brand:

Marketers should take care while preparing the portfolio that no two brands are competing in the same segment as this will lead to cannibalization. For example, Axe and denim were cannibalizing each other.

3. There could be a Disconnect between the Company and Its Product:

The brands in the portfolio should be fit for the company’s overall structure and match its culture. If these do not match, the brand will fail. For example, Infosys launched Nipuna which failed in the market.

Future of Brand Architecture:

Increased competition is forcing companies to carry a bigger brand portfolio; to cover the entire market landscape. However, sometimes it can lead to chaos and confusion, as a parent company cannot handle all the brands with the same vigour and strategic approach, in this way some brands fall down like pack of cards and can hit the bottom line growth of an organization. Brand Architecture is resolving these problems, by employing separate brandings for each portfolio of its brand. So that the strategies will not overlap and the companies can gain substantial returns by having a plethora of brands.

What is Branding – Brand Tracking

Brand tracking is a way to continuously measure the development of brand within some key variables, such as ad awareness, what brands the consumer prefers and what he or she is using.

Brand tracking allows a company to keep track of how it is doing in the marketplace relative to a set of pre-defined points of differentiation. These points are different for every brand, as every brand stresses different aspects and appeals to different consumers. Through regular tracking, it is possible to see how badly or well a company is doing relative to previous performance; more detailed methodologies may also suggest reasons for these changes.

A brand tracking study is much longer and more complex than the surveys. It will provide with statistically valid data and much more detailed information about the current state of the brand than almost any other research tool.

There is no substitute for a well-executed brand tracking study to help to learn about the brand, but they do not come cheap. A brand tracking study should be designed by professional research experts experienced in carefully crafting and ordering questions. Sometimes very small details that most of us would overlook can skew the results in important ways. By working with a professional, one can ensure the cleanest possible results.

One of the great benefits of a brand tracking study is that it allows defining a starting point showing the state of the brand as it exists today. It is called a brand tracking study because it allows tracking the progress from that starting point on an ongoing basis. Typically; brand tracking studies are conducted about once a year, but if one needs more data points, one can do them twice a year. If budget is an issue, one can also do them less often.

There are very few things more valuable than being able to see the progress of the brand over time by looking at the answers to questions that have stayed the same over a period measured in years. For hands that can afford to conduct a formal brand tracking study, there is no better tool for measuring the ongoing progress.

What is Branding – Brand Equity

Brand equity is power and asset creation through the brand over a period of time. The brand becomes so strong that the goodwill created helps launch other products under that brand umbrella successfully. Eg. Horlicks introduced Elaichi Horlicks, Chocolate Horlicks, Junior Horlicks, Mothers’ Horlicks, Women’s Horlicks etc., successfully because of the brand strength. Similarly, Colgate introduced many products under the name Colgate and all of them are doing well.

When the brand becomes stronger, it has its own Goodwill and when the brand gets sold, the selling company can assess the value of the brand along with the market capitalization and demand a high price. E.g. While selling Thumsup and Limca to Coca Cola, Parle Products demanded and got a very high price for both brand values as against the assets transferred.

Young & Rubicam’s Brand Asset Valuator:

The premier advertising agency Young & Rubicam (Y&R) has developed a multiple criteria method to assess brand equity growth. The company used its Brand Asset

Valuator to assess the brand equity of 450 global brands and more than 8,000 local brands in 24 countries. Each brand was examined using a 32-item survey that included, in addition to a set of brand personality scales, four distinct measures-

1. Differentiation—Measures how distinctive the brand is in the marketplace.

2. Relevance—Measures whether a brand has personal relevance for the potential customer.

3. Esteem—Measures whether a brand is held in high regard and considered best in its class. Closely related to perceived quality and the extent to which the brand is growing in popularity.

4. Familiarity—Measures the degree to which potential customers understand what a brand stands for.

According to this approach to brand equity, brand differentiation is the core of a successful brand proposition with a distinctive position in the marketplace that will promote long-term growth. Y&R defines it as the power of a brand to express its uniqueness and reach top-of-mind status with target consumers.

Once consumers are aware of the brand, it needs to be relevant to their needs, satisfying and exceeding their expectations. The way the brand manager is able to express that relevance in a language consumers appreciate will determine its success.

Once consumers understand what the brand can do for them, they need to aspire to own it, or have esteem for it. Finally, when the brand has communicated its unique, relevant and aspirational message, it will be able to achieve familiarity through repurchase and re-use.

These four measures form the basis of two equations:

1. Differentiation x Relevance=Brand Strength (or vitality)

2. Esteem x Familiarity=Brand Stature

The equations represent an attempt to overcome issues with other methods that assess brands solely in terms of present earning power. They suggest that scores relating to brand differentiation and relevance indicate the potential for growth, while those relating to brand esteem and familiarity indicate its present stature.

The results, however, are dependent on subjective analyses of the four criteria in relation to the market, the consumer and the company, although there are market research techniques that can better ensure the necessary analyses and accurately reflect the competitive milieu.

Creating Brand Equity:

Kevin Keller a marketing professor at Tuck Business School at Dartmouth created a model for creating brand equity also called Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) model. The concept behind this very simple to build, strong brand is that you must ensure that customers have the RIGHT kind of thoughts about your brand and so you must build the RIGHT kind of stories about the brand so that customers get the required perception about your brand.

Step 1- Who are You? (Brand Identity):

One should think about creating brand awareness and create an identity so that the customer is aware of the product as something to recognize. To do this, one must find out the RIGHT segment of customers whom you are going to target and ensure that there is a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in your product that appeals to the customers of this segment.

Step 2- What are You?:

In this step you create performance and imagery in the minds of the customers through proper marketing communication. Performance defines how well your product meets the customer’s needs through the benefits derived from its features/ingredients/elements and Imagery means how well the product meets the needs on social and psychological levels through word of mouth or customer’s own experience. Ideally, your product performance should exceed the expectations from the customers to build brand loyalty.

Step 3- What about You?

What do customers feel about your product? Or what is customer’s response to your brand?

Customer’s response depends upon his judgment and feelings about the brands which depends on four important pillars:

i. Quality- Actual and perceived quality of the product.

ii. Credibility- Trustworthiness of your product.

iii. Considerations- Benefits derived from your products.

iv. Superiority- As compared to competition.

This is the most important step.

A marketing manager should find out how he can:

a. Enhance the quality of his product.

b. Enhance the credibility of the product.

c. How best he can communicate the benefits of the products.

d. What USP will create product superiority in the minds of customers?

Step 4- Brand Resonance:

The relation between you and me brand.

Keller breaks resonance down into four categories:

i. Behavioral loyalty- This includes regular, repeat purchases.

ii. Attitudinal attachment- Your customers love your brand or your product, and see it as a special purchase.

iii. Sense of community- Your customers feel a sense of community with people associated with the brand, including other consumers and company representatives.

iv. Active engagement- This is the strongest example of brand loyalty. Customers are actively engaged with your brand, even when they are not purchasing it or consuming it. This could include joining a club related to the brand; participating in online chats, marketing rallies, or events; following your brand on social media; or taking part in other, outside activities.

The marketing manager should try and build brand resonance to the maximum level to get the best of the results.

What is Branding – Brand Identity (With Model)

Kapferer suggested a brand identity model in the shape of a prism as shown in fig. 1.26 below-

Kapferer talks in terms of six elements of brand identity as follows:

1. Physique- Set of physical features that come to the mind of customers when the brand name is recalled. Eg. Boost means Energy.

2. Personality- Brand character that is communicated to the customers through media. E.g. Boost means Kapil Dev and Saehin Tendulkar.

3. Culture- It is the direct link between the brand and its organization. E.g. Volkswagon means Germany.

4. Relationship- It symbolizes its relationship between customer and society e.g. Lexus or Rolls Royce is red carpet and high esteem (royal treatment).

5. Reflection- It is the reflection of a target group. E.g. Elle 18 reflects colour cosmetics for the age group of 16-20 though actual user base can be wider than reflected.

6. Self-Image- It is what the target group thinks while using the product. E.g. A customer using Nike or Adidas may feel that he/she is a good sportsperson.

These six elements he divides into two parts as:

(a) Constructed Source vs Constructed Receiver:

A well-defined brand should have a well-constructed form with physique, personality and culture and also should have a well-defined receiver i.e., customer.

The customer’s identity should also be well-defined, having clarity of reflection and self-image and should not be ambiguous.

(b) Externalization Vs Internalization:

The brand should have well-defined social characters like physique, relations and reflections and internal aspects like personality, culture and self-image.

The brand identity prism helps marketing managers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their brands and take corrective steps.

POP and POD of a Brand:

A brand manager has to look for POP (points of parity/similarities) and POD (points of differentiation) of the brand very critically. A brand having strong competition must have POP with the brand leader to ensure that there is easy acceptance from the customers of the competitor. E.g. A mobile phone must have all the similarities of apps that are present in the category leader like camera, internet, operating system etc.

When a brand is strong enough it must have POD – points of differentiation to attract customers on the basis of POD. E.g. Dove attracts customers on the basis of POD and says it is not a soap; it’s love for the skin.  

What is Branding – Private Labels (With Emergence, Advantages and Disadvantages)

Emergence of Private Label:

Now a days, manufacturers of national brands are concerned about the competition from private labels, because there are more private label “Store Brands” goods in the market than ever before. The improved quality, easy accessibility, and economical price of products give a strong challenge to the existing national brands.

Customers today are product conscious rather than being only brand-conscious. They are looking for quality products at an affordable price. Hence, giving Private Labels an opportunity to offer the customers good quality products, which are competitively priced, becomes significant.

Global Scenario of Private Labels:

The above graph represents the global scenario of the private labels with the help of two tools, the market share and growth of the private labels. Globally, private labels account for 17% of the overall market share, out of which 23% has been acquired by the European countries and 16% by the North American countries, whereas emerging markets acquire just 6%.

But the growth rate of private labels in the other countries is only in single digits, whereas the growth in the emerging markets, which is moving in double figures, represents their shift in position from the infancy stage to the growth stage. Overall, private labels are used to provide products with a lower price. In Europe, these prices can be 10-18% cheaper, whilst in the USA, some private label products are 25% cheaper than the brand leader.

Private Label Leaders in the International Market:

i. Aldi – 95% Private Label

ii. Lidl – 80% Private Label

iii. Sainsbury’s – 60% Private Label

iv. Tesco’s – 40% Private Label

v. Wal-Mart – 40% Private Label

vi. Carrefour – 33% Private Label.

Indian Market:

i. WestSide, Pantaloons, and Globus deal with 90% private Labels

ii. Shoppers Stop aims to get 25% of the sales turnover from private Label business.

iii. LifeStyle plans to have 30% of the its turnover from Private label

iv. Reliance current turnover in apparel Private Labels is 50%.

Advantages of Private Label:

As competition intensifies for the shelf space in stores, the perceived quality gap narrows between private labels and national brands. Whenever a customer enters any retail outlet, he or she sees that more shelf space has been allocated to the national brands. If the retailer could transform this space for the private labels, it would result in impulse purchase of the private labels and increase private label sales. Opinion leaders and grapevine communication also form a major marketing tool to market private labels.

With increasing competition, more and more promotions and offers are being put up by the retailers to increase their store sales. These promotions and offers could also be used as a marketing tool to promote private labels. To conclude, visual merchandising, word of mouth, and below the line activities would form the major marketing tools to promote these private labels.

Advantages of Private Label:

Several factors suggest that the private label is here to stay regardless of the nature of competition and market. Some years ago, it was generally believed that some gap is there between the quality of private label and national brands. Today, the gap has narrowed as the quality levels are much higher than ever before.

They are more consistent especially in categories that are characterized by little product innovation. More than these, the private labels are trying to develop products that deliver quality superior to that of the national brands.

i. Edge over the Competitor:

The current competitive environment is such that the major brands are driven by the availability mantra, which makes sure that their products are available across all kinds of retail formats and retail outlets.

The product mix carried by different retailers is more or less similar. In such an environment, private label brands help the retailer to differentiate his product mix from that of his competitors, since private label products are only available with the retailer. They also provide the retailer with an opportunity to present a unique offering to a customer.

ii. The Supplier Angle:

Introduction of an own brand of products helps the retailer to have means with which he can compete head on with the manufacturer’s product. An established private label brand provides the retailers a platform to negotiate with the suppliers, and the retailer thus is apparently self-sufficient in a certain category.

iii. The Customer Advantage:

Private label brands are also a strategic tool to attract and retain customers. Since private label products are available only in the retailer stores, it draws customers back and builds customer loyalty. American retailers have extensively used private label brands to differentiate their in-store product mix, as well as the catalogue offering.

The contribution of a private label in catalogues has changed from 30% to over 70% for apparel and home retailers over the last two decades, the prime reason being to attract the customer through a differentiated product offering. And once the customer is hooked to the private label brand, he will certainly come back to the store.

iv. High Profit Margin:

Private label provides accruing higher gross margins. Increasing the sales volume and decreasing purchase costs can enhance the margins. Retailers can increase the sales volume of private label products by positioning a private label as one which provides a higher perceived value.

The costs can be contained by the limited promotional and advertising spends vis-a-vis the manufacturer brands. These benefits can then be partially passed on to the consumer, thus balancing the perceived value equation of the private label brand.

v. The Marketing Mindset:

The first and foremost requirement is a new mindset of the retailer. Besides trading and selling, he also has to be a marketer. The retailer needs to identify consumer niches and select categories, which are conducive to private label brands. He then needs to develop not just a product, but also a brand.

vi. Threshold Volumes:

The retailer needs to cross the ‘minimum order’ hurdles to cover the fixed costs of a private label launch. This can be achieved only when a retailer has the infrastructure in terms of presence, and can achieve the identified volumes. Though not entirely impossible for a retailer with a single outlet, it is difficult to launch a private label when the volumes are limited.

vii. Consumer is the Key:

The management of a private label requires a customer-centric approach to the whole process, from product development to sales. Only a complete insight into the current customers’ profile and their need gaps, should drive the retailer in developing the private label.

viii. Creation of New Categories:

Private labels are continually expanding into new and diverse categories. As an example, private labels have developed well beyond the traditional staples to body and health care. The more private label products on the market, the more consumers will readily choose private labels over a higher-priced name brand.

ix. Product Portfolio Balance:

The retailer also needs to maintain a balance between national brands and private label brands, so that an optimal assortment is presented to the customer. Some retailers however, sell only their own product lines. Westside store offers a complete range of apparel products under its own brand name. Others focus only on specific categories.

Like Shoppers’ Stop, which has a high penetration of private label brands in women’s and men’s ethnic wear. The branded merchandize section sends signals to the customer that the store is in step with the fashion trends, and at the same time, the private label merchandize suggests that there is an opportunity for the customer to save.

A private label is a strategic tool, which helps retailers redefine their offering to the consumer in the light of the competition, consumer need gaps, and the retailer costs. Retailers can capitalize on low brand penetration in certain categories to launch a private label, which differentiates them.

And in overcrowded categories, they can provide products which appeal to the value-conscious Indian consumer. The road ahead for private label is difficult but at the same time, it offers retailers a golden opportunity.

Disadvantages of Private Label:

i. Competition from National Brands:

Many customers are loyal towards the national brands rather than the store brand. It is observed that a national brand has a good brand image and has generated a good response of people in the market. In this case, the image of retailers brand loses its impact on customers.

ii. Loss of Retail Rack Space:

Most of the retailers prefer to display their products in promotional areas. They also provide more visible and easily accessible position to their merchandize within the sections. Due to this, national brands lose their rack space. Sometimes, it has an adverse effect on the loyal customers of national brands, because still, many customers are loyal towards the national brands. But most of the time national brands are ignored by the retailers for various reasons, and they pay more attention to their products.

iii. Lack of Innovations:

When we compare retailer’s brands to national brands, the former show lack of innovation as retailers deal in many categories. It is difficult for the retailer to focus or specialize in new product innovations.

iv. Limited Focus on Brand Building:

Products offered by the retailers’ brands are actually very similar to national brands. And the category role of reinforcing social or self-image is fairly limited. Retailers have a limited role in brand-building of the product because these products are mostly outsourced. It is difficult for the retailer to concentrate on all the merchandize.

v. Dependability:

As most of the private label products are outsourced, the retailers have to depend on the manufacturers. The private label may have its own imperatives in terms of production, with orders being shoved aside in favor of his own customers’ needs.

vi. Wider Choice for Customer:

The customer gets a wider choice and visibility in national brands rather than in private label. National brands are available everywhere, whereas private label products are available with the respective retailers only. This phenomenon diverts the customer’s attention towards national brands.

E.g. – Food Bazaar takes complete responsibility of marketing and logistics of products like Tasty Treat chips. This brand is available only in BigBazaar, Food Bazaar, and KB fair price shops, whereas national brands like Lays, Bingo, and Haldiram wafers are doing well because of their wider availability in every nook and corner.

vii. Marketing Difficulties:

Although the cost of the product will be substantially less in a private label, the retailers should spend more on the marketing of the product. The selling and marketing of his own product is likely to be entirely with the retailer. Media fragmentation makes it more and more difficult for mass marketed brands to connect with consumers actually. So the battle moves on to the market place where by sheer ownership, store brands hold an edge.

viii. Positioning the Brand:

The most direct way to positioning of the retailer’s brand is keeping the price lower than that of the national brand. A price reduction will be the basis for competition and reinforce consumer’s perceptions about a brand’s lack of differentiation, particularly when it comes to quality. This approach can be quite risky because it can have numerous implications on the retailer’s store performance.

Retailer’s Branding Options:

When large retailers buy products in bulk from manufacturers and put their own brand name on them, this is called private branding, store brand, or private label, e.g. – private label is JohnMiller from Pantaloon Retail. Private brands can be differentiated from manufacturers’ brands (also referred to as national brands, e.g. – JohnPlayer from ITC Wills Sport).

When two or more brands work together to market their products, this is referred to as co-branding, e.g. – Big bazaar sells the Panasonic rice cooker in both the names. Sometimes, retailers sell the product without a brand name. Usually, commodities like sugar and rice are sold without a brand name.

What is Branding – Advantages to the Marketers and Customers

Branding is an integral part and function of marketing and it has advantages for both the consumer as well as the marketer.

Advantages to the Marketers:

1. Differentiates Products – Branding is a means by which a company can make its product standout from that of another company. This way a customer makes out the identity of the company that sells the product. That’s how branding protects the company’s target market by preventing the customer from buying the product of a rival company.

2. Helps in Pricing – The marketer promotes his brand as a product different from other competing products. This enables him to fix a price that denotes the individuality and uniqueness of the product. Thus, it becomes a tool for enabling differential pricing.

3. Facilitates Advertising and Sales Promotion – Brands help in advertising and building consumer loyalty. This is a way of building up consumer preference for the product.

4. Enables Dealer Acceptability – Branding enables dealer acceptability in the market. The more famous a brand, the more dealer acceptability it commands. Where a brand is not popular, the dealers feel shy of accepting it on their shelves.

5. Helps in Marketing of New Products – The consumers feel more confident and readily buy a new product if it carries a well-known brand name. A reputed brand readily gets consumer acceptance, while the lesser known brands have to work at building up consumer trust over a long period of time.

6. Capitalises on Brand Exposure – It helps companies introduce their products into new markets. Thus, the companies can tap new markets and increase revenue.

Advantages to the Customers:

1. Product Identification -Branding helps the customers readily identify the product through its unique colour, trademark, or other identification marks. This enables repeat purchases of the product.

2. Ensures Quality and Consistency -Branding conveys the company’s assurance of quality and consistent products to the customer. The company becomes bound to stick to its standards of quality and workmanship. Thus, it produces products that comply with its quality standards. This builds up customer confidence in the company and increases it customer base.

3. Displays Producer’s Commitment – The brand displays the commitment of the producer to its customers and the society. It may signify innovation, commitment to a clean environment and commitment to a certain cause. Another function of branding is to win customer loyalty and promote product recognition.

4. Builds Egoistical Satisfaction – Certain premium brands satisfy egoistical whims and fancies, and thus, become status symbols. For instance, high-end cars like Rolls Royce and Ferrari are sought-after by people for whom flashing the logo of luxury beamers is a sign of better social and financial standing.

5. Brand Names Protect Consumers – By printing the price and other manufactur­ing details like the manufacturing and expiry dates on the packaging of the product, the brand functions as a tool for consumer protection.