Brand Development 101
Posted: Mar 05, 2015
Every success story in any industry begins with brand development. In Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong’s Marketing: An Introduction, brand is defined as "a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competition."
At the level of the consumer, branding serves many functions. It tells them about the quality they can expect of a product or service, and the benefits or the value they can get from it following their purchase. Obviously, branding is supposed to guide the consumer towards making the decision to buy, not only once but consistently.
Marketers utilize different strategies to build a brand, usually starting from positioning, or identifying the product’s attributes, benefits, and beliefs and values. Brainstorming on these should lead to the selection of a brand name – suggests something about what the product offers, can be extended to other categories, and perhaps most importantly, is unique and used by no other manufacturer. For example, Dove evokes femininity, poise, and grace, making it an ideal brand name for women’s beauty products.
Then, a good brand development team comes up with a packaging wrapper that lets the product stand out in a sea of competitors, besides adequately protecting the product inside and making it easy to dispense. The packaging also includes the label, which should feature a good contrast of graphic elements that capture the consumer’s attention and describe the product contained therein as a desirable item.
If managed efficiently, a brand becomes a valuable asset to a company. It is important to maintain a high brand awareness among customers, through such touch points as advertising, word of mouth marketing, personal experience, the website, and more recently, social media. Taking the lead in these initiatives would be a brand manager, assisted by the company’s corporate communication teams, and even every rank-and-file employee whose solid belief in the brand should be palpable to the ordinary customers.
A brand manager also conducts regular audit, to ensure that the brand positioning continues to be communicated effectively to the target market, and that the products deliver the benefits promised to the customer. In select cases, an audit may also lead to a recommendation to rebrand.
In order to build and manage a brand effectively, companies may enlist the help of experts in corporate identity and brand development.
Leo Aranas is an online writer and blogger.