Branding is the process of giving a name or a sign or a symbol to a product.
One of the most important decisions that a marketer has to take in selling a product is in respect of branding. He/ She has to decide whether the firm’s product will be marketed under a brand name or a generic name.
Generic name refers to the name of the class of the product. If the products were sold by their generic names, it would be difficult for the marketers to distinguish their products from that of competitors. Therefore, most of the marketers give a name to their products, which helps in identifying and distinguishing their products from the competitors products.
As the traditional marketing tools and techniques has been replaced by the modern marketing tools and techniques and the number of factories of every good has now been increased, the producer tries to make their product different from other producer of the same product. These things give birth to a new marketing dimension and new era of marketing by the emergence of BRANDING.
In olden days, the brands were just a mark, sign or some sort of numbers to differentiate their goods. The brand then builds many function which creates the value in the mind of the customer. Like the advertisement, which is the function of the branding and it creates a unique association and memory link in the minds of customers on one side and on the other hand, it creates the demand for your goods and services as it attracts the customer, it creates awareness about your production and also educate the customer about the use of goods and services.
ADVANTAGES OF BRANDING
To the marketers
- Enables making product differentiation.
- Ease in introduction of new product.
- Differential pricing.
- Helps in advertising and display programs.
To the customers
- Helps in product identification.
- Ensures quality.
- Status symbol.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD BRAND NAME
- A brand name should be short, easy to pronounce, spell, recognize and remember.
- A brand name should suggest the product’s benefits and qualities. It should be appropriate to the product’s function.
- A brand name should be distinctive.
- Chosen name should have staying power i.e., it should not het out of date.
- The brand name should be sufficiently versatile to accommodate new products, which are added to the product line.
- It should be adaptable to packaging or labelling requirements, to different advertising media and to different languages.
- It should be capable of being registered and protected legally.
Brand image is positive and creates many customers and build strong customers relationship with them and maintain loyalty. But if the brand image is negative, it will be harmful as there will be no customers repetition and retention. So, firm pays a huge investment on advertisement to maintain the brand image and brand equity management programs. As brand image creates perception in customer mind so after purchase, if cognitive dissonance occurs then there is a change in customer’s behavior.
Brand association will impact the consumer buying pattern and behavior. These associations will affect your decision positively if the brand image is positive. Brand loyalty reduce the cost for the firm to retain the customer forever. A loyal customer is helpful for the firm to create new customers.
Generally, brand has greater impact on consumer buying behavior. But at local level, behavior of customer also changes due to branded products and services. Consumer buying behavior is the study of actions of consumer towards planning, purchasing and consuming goods and services.
Consumer buying decision consists of 7 steps:
- Need recognition
- Information search
- Pre-purchase evaluation
- Choose alternative
- Purchase consumption
- Post consumption evaluation
Now, market has become too much competitive due to hyper competition in the market. The best way is to compete these conditions by developing a strong brand image. Basically, the key driver of brand equity is simply brand image. By easily remembering brand , quality production increases which leads to sales increase and makes mire profit. It is the best way which leads towards maximizing market share and to sustain competitive advantage and strong position in the market.