With the modernization of the world and a step toward achieving higher every day, there is cut throat competition too. No one wants to lag behind, each person, company, organization etc want to be the first in their own field. And the era has come where the brands have emerged as the leaders in the market, be it of any category.
And it is surely not an easy job to handle a brand. There is so much to worry about all the time. So much! The entire unit’s hard work, coordination, timing, perfection, success ratio and planning are reflected in just the name of the brand; how well people know the name. It is all the competition and the race is about.
And where there exists a brand, there must be someone or some process to manage it all too. And this is where the brand management comes. What is it all about? Brand management is like, developing a promise and maintaining it. The tangible and the intangible features about a brand are taken care of by the brand managers.
It is easy to understand it through a situation, so let’s say you go out with your friends to a shopping mall. Entering the gates, you feel like running into each store and try out all your favorite outfits out there on the racks. Each brand has its own style, essence and uniqueness which makes it stand out of others. A lot of things go into it. You may not realize it, but brand management play a vital role in the brand image, awareness, identity etc.
Now you must be realizing what all it takes to make a brand and to hold its prestige upright. Here are a few crucial concepts one should know before taking up brand management. Knowing about some of the important concepts will help you decide what you should do.
As the old saying goes, “image is everything, everything is image.” Those words are appropriate to say here too. The image of a brand is the current view of the brand among the people. It says a lot about the brand. The kind of products you sell, advertising about the store and products, offers and membership benefits given to customers etc all add in to the entire brand image of the brand. The concept behind image of a brand is that the consumers purchase not only the products or services, but also the image associated with the product or service.
And then people relate the product with the kind of image a brand makes. Rolls Royce is associated with luxury. Toyota is associated with reliability. Volvo is associated with safety. Tata is associated with affordability and so on.
Working on the brand image is essential in brand management, as it is one of the prime factors to decide the sales and reputation of a brand in the market.
Brand name sets the brand apart from others. It is one of the essential elements that make up a brand with which the customers relate with and identify well. And it is not just that a word hits you and you take it as the brand’s name. it requires a good amount of thought process and research. Brand names can be based on the places from where they originate, such as Air India, British Airways, Emirates etc, or they can be named on the name is the founder of the brand itself, such as Armani, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton etc, and may have other concepts too, such as on the name of animal and birds such as Dove, Puma etc.
Name of a brand should be chosen carefully, as it reflects the key theme of the products in an economical and efficient way. Following are the features which should be considered while giving your brand a name: -
A company may begin with a single product and then go on to expand their range of product categories. This is known as brand extension. The new category which the brand extends may or may not be related to the existing product and product categories. The brand which already exists gives rise to an extension which is known as the parent brand. Also, it is easier for a brand which is famous and well known to extend its product categories. Nike’s major product used to be shoes, but now the product has successfully extended and sells in other categories such as sportswear, sunglasses, soccer balls, golf accessories etc. some of the benefits of brand extension are:-
The concept, service and functional associations related to the brand are counted in making a brand identity. People recognize the brand with the kind of service, customer care, products etc it provides. A company makes an impact on the people through its branding and marketing strategies. The tagline and logo of the brand can be an interpretation of what the brand provides too, such as Apple’s tag line says ‘think different’. Tag Heuer’s tag line says ‘what are you made of’ and so on. Such things reflect the concepts the brand follows and the services and quality of products it provides.
Since both the concepts share similar concepts, you may confuse between the two. Here are some key points which distinguish brand identity from brand image.
|Brand identity||Brand image|
The way a brand speaks about and behaves is known as brand personality. Like, similar to people, brand too has a personality which says a lot about itself. It means to assign characteristics of human personality to a brand, so as to know better about it and to differentiate it from other brands. The traits signify about the brand behavior through the employees who work there, and the quality of the brand products through packaging, delivery, labeling, advertising etc. Infosys speaks about uniqueness and value, Dove is a brand which is honest and optimist.
Brand personality is different from brand image in the way that brand image denotes the tangible, i.e. physical and functional benefits of the brand, where as brand personality talks about the emotional association of the brand.
The characteristics of a brand are portrayed by brand attributes. It includes strong features that also contribute to brand identity. The following features are the parameters of brand attributes: -
A good brand should be a relevant one. It should go as per the public expects from it and should be able to persuade the consumers to buy the product.
The consistency of a brand gives the message to the people in a way that it does not deviate from the core brand proposition and it dedicated to work for the people. It signifies what the brand stands for and builds the trust of the consumers in the brand.
A good brand should always be unique from others, so that it sets the brand apart and ahead from the rest of the competitors in the market.
Consumers should be attracted by the way a brand lets out their products and services to them.
A strong brand should fulfill the promises it makes to the people. It should not exaggerate or make promises which it cannot fulfill, as people what to believe and receive the promises which you make.
Brand loyalty refers to the relative possibility of the consumer looking up to another brand in case of change in the brand’s features, price or quality. Loyal consumers do contribute to the foundation or a brand, as they are the first ones to buy your product and spread the word about you. Their reviews and perception will matter in brand image, as they are the first ones to come up to you. Brand loyalty would be a situation where the consumer fears to purchase products from other brands which he does not trust. In such a case, the brand loyalty would be a really good one, as the brand has been successful to get their consumer come to them only instead of trying others.
A lot of features count in brand loyalty such as spoken publicity done by the consumers between themselves, commitment, price sensitivity, brand trust, consumer satisfaction etc. brand loyalty comes to place when the consumer feels that the following brand he is currently using consists of the right product characteristics and the products are at the right price.
It is the probability that the people now about brand, the life and the availability of the products it provides. There are two kinds of brand awareness: -
This means that on the mention about the product category, the consumers recognize the brand from the list of brands.
It refers to the mentioning the product category, the first brand that consumer thinks about from his mind is your brand.
The thoughts and views which exist in the consumer’s mind about the brand is known as brand association. It is not just the characteristics of the products, but can be the effects in advertising or the unique selling features too. The film stars cast in the ads of Lux, Nokia ringtone with the Nokia mobiles, blue color with Pepsi etc can be some of the examples of the associations people build up with the brand. Brand association should be a positive one so that consumers relate to your brand in a positive way, which makes them buy the products.
Some of the features that contribute to brand association are as follows: -
Building up a brand is not an easy thing, and so is maintaining its name. Knowing about the basic features of brand management now, you can surely work on better to think better for a brand and taking its name forward. These features add up together and make a brand what it is. Each feature has its own importance and cannot be ignored, hence should be taken care of while managing a brand.
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