David Ogilvy defines brands as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.”Kotler defines brands as “A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitor.”
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 them from goods of competitors.”
Jared Spool, a web site usability expert, says, “Branding means creating an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) that customers form with the product, service, or company.”
Walter Landor, one of the greats of the advertising industry, said:
“Simply put, a brand is a promise. By identifying and authenticating a product or service it delivers a pledge of satisfaction and quality.”
Branding is supposed to be the process by which the true character and purpose of the company is communicated. And this process is a strategy that is consistently applied through the entire firm, hopefully creating an aura of trust; an appreciation of your uniqueness; and a set of expectations in your customers, shareholders and employees. Everything is consistent–packaging, advertising, public relations
There are different ways to look at the meaning of brand and branding in simple terms:
- A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer.
Brand is everything what you want to communicate to consumers and what you communicate. By definition, “brand” is whatever the consumer thinks of when he or she hears your company’s name.
- A brand is a promise. By identifying and authenticating a product or service it delivers a pledge of satisfaction and quality.
- It’s a bundle of functional and emotional benefits
- A name with a reputation
- A mark of pride
- A simplifier of choice
- A product or service with an attitude
It is absolutely clear that a brand is very different from a product or service. A brand is intangible and exists in the mind of the consumer. This definition helps us understand the idea of brand loyalty and the ‘loyalty ladder’. Different people have different perceptions of a product or service, which places them at different points on the loyalty ladder.
This brings us to the other vital connections of management, namely, Positioning and Advertising of a product or service. Advertising has to sell, and it achieves this by positively influencing people’s perceptions of the product or service. However, Advertising grabs customers’ minds. Branding gets their hearts.