One of the most important assets of a company is its brand, especially in today’s market where there are numerous choices for consumers. A brand is basically a symbol or design or a combination of both that distinguishes your product from that of the competition. If properly executed, an effective brand can help boost sales and develop a persona for the product.
Branding is not applicable solely to products but can also be used on personalities. Examples of successful brands are Coca Cola judged as the one of the top brands in the world. Through consistent branding Coke has adopted a cheerful family friendly image that makes it appealing as a drink during gatherings and occasions. An example of how a person could be associated with a brand would be politician Mar Roxas who rose to fame after adopting the moniker Mr. Palengke.
[related|post]According to Rey Jimenez, Corporate Brand Manager for Sea Oil, a successful brand has several qualities including the development of human characteristics that would elicit public sympathy. He says that a successful brand also tends to penetrate into our culture. Examples would be how Colgate became synonymous with toothpaste and Xerox with photocopying. The brands also need to elicit an emotional response from the public which results in a favorable bias towards it.
"Successful branding helps companies by ensuring market loyalty to the product. If people can identify with your brand then they will tend to buy your product. It also reduces price sensitivity as people understand they are paying a premium for the product, and builds up bargaining power with distributors as successful brands tend to be top sellers that give leverage," he said.
Developing and maintaining a brand takes a lot of effort, that’s why companies must take care to protect their brands by registering with the local Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Among the things that can be registered with the IPO are patents which refer to the actual product and designs, copyrights for advertisements, and other promotional materials. One must also register the trade mark which is the distinctive design, name, motto that legally identifies your product.
"To build a successful brand you need to decide early on what characteristics you would like your product to possess. When you have identified these you need to design campaigns to imprint your message to the public. A good brand must be consistent all through out. Any changes to the brand must be introduced slowly to avoid sending mixed messages," Jimenez said.
Other critical things to consider in brand building are creating an image for the brand. The image would depend on your target audience. You must also try to create an experience for your target audience. The experience would enrich your brand by adding an emotional component to it. All these combine to create a familiarity with the audience.
To protect the brand one must use a Brand Identity Manual to prevent unauthorized and improper use of trademarks. The manual basically states the parameters for the use of the brand. This together with stringent IP protection will help ensure the development and integrity of the brand. Because given the confusing array of choices people tend to buy what they know.