What is Branding ?

The term 'branding' is a very broad concept. I comprises of the entire effort in creating a unique space in the mind of the consumers for the product of the company, through consistent advertising and promotion campaigns. It can also be considered as the art of creating a brand. The very first motive of branding is to attract and retain potential customers through developing and maintaining a unique position in the market. In this, the means of identification of the company is recognized and established. Branding includes giving a name to the product, as parents name a baby. 

The branding process consists of an advertising campaign based on a consistent concept which forms a distinct identity and image of the product (goods or services) in the minds of the customers. Organisations develop and maintain unique identification in the market through branding.

It helps in fascinating and retaining loyal customers. The act of naming a family member is quite similar to branding. Here producers have children in the form of products or services similar to parents having their own children. As the biological parents are anxious to understand the personality traits of their children, similarly, producers are anxious to find out the nature and scope of their products not on the names but based on the launch of the product. Therefore, a managerial process of deciding a particular name for a given product is called as 'branding'.

Branding guides the consumers in several ways including picking out the most useful products, and quality assurance associated with the product, etc. A loyal purchaser is assured of the same attributes, quality and satisfaction from a brand during every shopping experience. A seller also has many advantages in getting associated with a brand.

Definition of Branding

According to Costantino :
"Branding is to help achieve and maintain a loyal customer base in a cost effective way in order to achieve the highest possible returns on investment".

According to Jared Spool :
"Branding means creating an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) that customers form with the product, service or company".


Components of Branding

Elements that help in identifying a brand and differentiating it with other brands is known as brand elements. They are also known as "brand identities". Following a are the major brand elements :

1) Brand Names : 
With the help of brand name one can easily differentiate between two products. The foremost step towards establishing a reliable. and lucrative brand is to choose such a brand name which can be remembered or recognized by the target consumers when they encounter it. Basically, the name of the brand plays a significant role. It can serve as a means for attaining success in the market place. times. the brand name associates so closely with the product, that it becomes tough for the marketer to alter it. Hence, brand name has to be carefully chosen after thorough research.

2) URLs : 
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are the domain names which are used to specify locations for the web pages. Brands use these URLs to locate themselves on a web page. Those who desire to have a particular URL can register for it with the services like '', after paying specific fees. Recently, there has been tremendous increase in the URL as most of the organisations like have registered URL. Due to the abundance of registered URLs, organisations should come up with new words or different name for their brands. while registering it on website so that they can be easily distinguished from other brands.

3) Logos/Trademarks : 
A logo refers to the symbol that signifies product or brand of the company. Through logos the organisations become capable of building a specific brand image in the mind of the customers. Hence, it becomes quite essential to give due attention to the attractiveness, utility. and distinctiveness of the logo. The image of the organisation should be reflected through its logo. Usually, the logo of an organisation is trademarked which helps in preventing other organisations to copy it. Brand mark refers to the symbolic element of the brand; which is represented rough a design or symbol. can be identified by seeing. For example, 'Red Roof icon of Pizza Hut. A brand name or a brand mark which is registered and has been owned legally is known as a trademark. It has to be registered under the concerned law and therefore, all trademarks can be brand but all brands cannot be a trademark. It helps in ensuring legal protection of the brand. It is used with the registered trademark, which shows it to be registered with the Trade Merchandise Mark Act, 1958.

4) Characters : 
Characters stand for a unique feature of brand, which help in adding certain human element in it. Success can be attained by a brand by bringing out an emotional reaction for the prospective consumers. The difference does not lie in the brand character or icon, but a brand can be successful if its icon stands for something flawless, unique, and sturdy and which is able to connect with the consumers from deep inside.

5) Slogans : 
One of the best ways used by organisations to attract customer's attention is through creating unique and memorable slogans. It helps in building a brand identity, which is a matter of great concern for all organisations. These slogans are catchy and represent the product. Some examples of such slogans as follows : 
  • Maggi : "Meri Maggi Khushion ki Chabi".
  • Cadbury's : "Taste like this feels".
  • Pepsi: "Pepsi thi.. pi gaya".
  • LIC : "Bharosa Zindagi ka" .
  • Complan : "I am a Complan boy/I am a Complan girl".

6) Jingles : 
The musical messages for advertising a brand is known as jingles. They are usually composed by professional lyricists and are written in such a way that it sinks in the mind of the listeners. Jingles can also be understood as an extended musical version of slogans. Some of the famous jingles are given below : 
  • Honda : "Dekho dekhe ye zamana, panchi uda jae re". 
  • Amul : "Amul Doodh Pita Hai India". 
  • Vicco Creams : "Vicco Turmeric, nahi cosmetic Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream".

7) Packaging : 
It refers to the process of creating the design and pattern of the container or the wrapper of the product. It makes a part of packing function which falls under the sub-division of marketing. Packaging is the final container in which the final product is packed and offered to the customers in market. Hence, it is a component of the final presentation of the goods produced and the product remains in it until it is purchased from the retail store. The general tendency of the customers is get attracted and influenced by the packaging of the brand. And for this reason, packaging plays a vital role in establishing the identity of the brand or product, and it conveys information about the brand which helps in strengthening brand association.

Branding Strategies

Brand-product relationships can be governed by using six models which are based on organisational strategies. These models explain the status and function of the brand along with describing its relationships with different products. The key branding strategies based on the features of the brand are listed below :

1) Product Branding : 
It is a well-known fact that a brand can simultaneously be an object, a word, a symbol, or a concept. Brand is an object as it helps to differentiate each product from other goods and services in the market. Brand is a word as it has a brand name which gives details of the product in case of oral and written communication. Brand is a symbol as it has variety of features and it is expressed through many figurative expressions like logos, colors. forms, emblems, designs and packaging. Lastly, brand is a concept as it dictates its own meaning and worth similar to any other symbol.
The product branding strategy is responsible to attribute a specific name and positioning to every single product or product line. Thus, every new product gets its very own brand name exclusively owned by it. As a result, a brand portfolio is developed within the organisation representing the product portfolio.

2) Line Branding : 
Line branding should not be confused with the concept of product lines. Here, different products manufactured/developed on the basis of one common theme are grouped together to form a single brand. Initially, a single product is launched to represent the brand concept, and gradually different-complementary products are introduced in the same brand concept. The basic theme behind such branding is not altered. 
For example, Lakme is involved. in practicing fine branding strategy. The basic brand theme of Lakme is the "source of radiant beauty." Variety of products, complementary in nature, is offered by Lakme under this brand concept like body lotion, winter care lotion, eye make-up, foundation, etc. Through line branding strategy, the basic need of the consumers is satisfied along with fulfilling complementary needs. Lakme, for example, focuses on satisfying consumers' need to become attractive and beautiful. Different complementary products are offered by Lakme to fulfill this core need.

3) Range Branding : 
Range branding strategy looks similar to line branding strategy, but there is a significant difference between the two. Like line branding, different products are associated with the basic brand concept, but these products are not complementary to each other. Different categories of products are available under the same brand concept. Here, the basic theme of branding is the area of expertise. For example, Himalaya Drug Company offers variety of ayurvedic medicines including skincare, body care, health care, etc. Certainly, syrup, shampoo and face wash, do not complement each other. Here, the basic concept of branding is area of expertise. The area of expertise here is ayurvedic medicines. Therefore, under one brand, different non-complementary products are offered to the consumers.
One of the advantages of range branding strategy is the low spending for promotion, as single brand covers all products in the group. Sometimes, range branding becomes a problem due to presence of too many products under the same brand. It can also lead to confusion among the consumers and affect the brand image.

4) Endorsement Branding : 
Here, the company brand name is not so popular because of the popularity of the product brand. The company brand name is highlighted in smaller letters and is utilized only to give recognition to the owner. The product brand exists on its own 
For example, Cadbury Dairy Milk shows the owner. of the product brand.
In marketing communication programs, these brands show their relation with the parent company. Here, product brands enjoy their popularity along with highlighting its owners. Company brand is also useful in attributing certain specifications in the product brand.

5) Umbrella Branding : 
Just as an umbrella covers the individual(s) holding it. umbrella branding strategy covers the entire product mix of a particular company, utilizing a single brand name. Here, brand logo or name is same for all the products offered by the company. 
For example, all the products offered by the company Phillips, are offered with the brand name of Phillips. Any new additions to the product mix or product line are also named as per the parent brand. It plays a crucial role in trial purchases, acceptance and survival of such new products. The main advantage of such branding strategy is that single promotional program is sufficient for promoting the diverse products.
This kind of branding may also be called as 'family branding. It is very crucial for different products under the family brand, to maintain a certain quality level. Weakness in one product may create the negative image of the whole brand.

6) Source Brand Strategy : 
This strategy is quite similar to the above mentioned umbrella brand strategy. But unlike the umbrella brand, each product under the parent brand has its very own brand name which makes it major a distinguishing factor between these two strategies. 
For example, TATA company follows source branding strategy for its products, The different products are TATA Nano, TATA Indica, TATA Indigo, TATA Docomo, TATA Sky, TATA Indicom, etc.
Association of additional brand name into the source brand is very helpful in improving the relevance of the source brand. It helps in drawing attention of particular customer segment. To cater different needs of the customers different brand names are designed for different products. The source brand helps in establishing the new products in the market.

Importance of Branding 

Branding has the following importance for different categories : 

1) To Consumers :

i) Easy to Recognize : 
The existence of the brand name allows the consumers to identify the brand in the market clutter. This is because the brand has a distinctive packaging, color, design, etc.

ii) Availability of Quality Products : 
A brand is an assurance of quality. Even the producers have to make constant efforts to invest in R&D etc., so that they offer quality product and fulfill the brand promise. Consumers therefore get an assurance of quality when they buy a brand.

iii) Minimum Fluctuations in Price : 
It has been seen that price fluctuations do not occur in brands. Consumers therefore get assured prices

iv) Improved Packing : 
The packaging of the brands is given lot of importance. The name of the brand and other details are included in the brand packaging. The packaging itself has to undergo a constant innovation in terms of look and feel so that the quality perception of the brand is maintained.

v) Mental Satisfaction : 
The use of brands by consumers also gives lot of satisfaction to the consumers as it gives them a feeling that they are using a superior product. For many consumers it can often be the feeling of pride like owners of Mercedes and Harley Davidson.

2) To Producers :

i) Easy to Advertise : 
Having a proper brand helps the organisation to develop advertising strategies as the brands vision, target markets and value propositions are clearly defined. The name of the brand can be used by the organisation in its advertising campaigns.

ii) Easy to Identify the Products : 
The brand name helps consumers to identify the products. This helps in advertising the products easily.

iii) Creation of Separate Market : 
The brand helps the company to develop a value proposition for a particular market. This also helps it to develop a separate market for its products.

iv) To Get More Price : 
Branding attracts and retains customers. They become loyal, to the brand and are ready to pay any price for the brand.

v) Easy to Expand the Product Mix : 
The existence of a successful brand helps the company in expanding the product mix. The company can add new products to the product mix and also add to its product lines. Getting the customers to buy new products is not a problem as the new products can rely on the positive image of the existing brands.

vi) Personal Contacts with Consumers : 
The brand also helps the company to establish a direct link with its customers and to eliminate the activities of all middlemen who have vested interests. This reduces the cost of distribution immensely.