How do you create a brand?
There are four effective steps in the brand development strategy to create a brand:
Choose the brand name and logo
Establish the brand in the minds of customers
Develop the brand
What is Brand Equity?
Creating a brand is no different than establishing your business. It takes time. Gradually you can create brand equity. Brand equity is the differential effect when consumers respond more favorably to a brand than to a generic or unbranded version of the same product. Whenever we think of buying a smartphone, the very first name that comes to our mind is the iPhone. Ask why? It is because of the comfort and authenticity that iPhone offers to its users.
Apple through their years of research and experience has created in our minds a state of ultimate luxury and comfort when using their products. There may be a few more similar products from others that are in line with the Apple iPhone and may be superior, but the iPhone’s identity gives it an edge over others – regardless of the price tag. This advantage is the brand value.
4 steps of brand development strategy
1. Choose the brand name and select the logo:
When building a brand development strategy, name plays a vital role. A good name and style can add positive effects to the success of a product. It is the most difficult task to begin with. Simplicity is the first step. The name should be easy to pronounce, recognize and remember. In addition, it must say something about the benefits and properties of the product.
Names like Google, Nike, Facebook, Apple, KFC etc. are among the most established brands around the world. An interesting fact about those names is that they are easy to translate into different languages around the world. Therefore, the meaning of a particular word should not be something that indicates bad, wrong or negative.
Again, the name should be expandable to cover multiple product lines. For example, Amazon.com started its business with book sales and has now expanded into multiple product categories.
Once chosen, the brand name must also be protected. Means in many cases that brand names ended up being confused with the product category and people cannot distinguish the brand identity from the product category.
For example, Xerox is a company that builds copy machines, but making a photocopy is often referred to as doing xerox. “Xerox” should be pronounced as a noun and not as a verb. Many people find it difficult to distinguish between the product and the service, which ultimately hinders the company’s brand name.
2. Establishing the brand in the minds of customers:
An interesting saying from a marketer: products are made in the factory, but brands are made in the mind. This can be done in several ways. At the basic level, it starts with introducing the product and its distinctive features to the target customers.
Let’s take the example of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. Targeting its customers, Amazon says it is an e-book reader with a distinctive feature of reading books in a virtual format. At this stage they are simply introduced with the product and have a very low impact.
The more effective way a brand can be positioned by associating the name with desirable benefits. So the Kindle is more than an e-book reader: it’s lightweight, a dictionary on the go, it can store thousands of books that are easy to search, no glare and no distractions.
The strongest brands go beyond capturing features and benefits in the minds of customers and position themselves on strong values and beliefs, rooted in a deep emotional bond. Like reading books in Kindle is an absolute pleasure and presents itself as the book lover’s new best friend. In placing a brand in the human mind, the marketer must establish a mission for the brand and a vision of what the brand should be and do.
3. Brand Sponsorship:
There are three types of brand sponsorship:
Private Brand Sponsorship
Licensed Brand Sponsorship
Private Brand Sponsorship:
Many advertisements and social marketing strategies work behind the rise of the big brands and are called national brands. But for smaller companies, it may not always be possible to underwrite brands with huge out-of-pocket expenses. In those scenarios, brand sponsorship is very important. As opposed to National or Manufacture brands, there are Store brands. In recent decades, retail brands have increasingly gained market share. This is why?
Major malls like Big Bazaar, Walmart resale products at significant discounts, especially the generic or no-name brands. They endorse the products by citing their benefits or comparing them with the top brands. The association of the major resellers with lesser-known products acts as an aid in increasing the brand value of the product that was once called ‘no-name’.
Own brand sponsorship is also tracked in online shopping. As we can see, small or lesser known mobile manufacturers are recently joining Amazon to sell their phones. In fact, this strategy works very well as the ‘no-name’ brands get the support of the major brand stores both online and offline.
Licensed Brand Sponsorship:
In this brand sponsorship, some companies purchase the names and symbols of other manufacturers or creators for a fee and endorse their products under such brand name. This is common in the fashion industry, such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Armani, etc., where the companies use the names and initials of famous fashion innovators. This type of branding turns out to be an extra filling, but with a pinch in the bag.
In such a brand sponsorship strategy, established brand names of different companies are used on the same product. As each brand dominates in a different category, the combined brands create broader consumer appeal and greater brand equity.
For example, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, where Bajaj is a dominant player in the automotive sector and Allianz is a German financial services company. As Bajaj wants to enter the insurance industry and Allianz wants to enter the Indian market, they have jointly created a brand called ‘Bajaj-Allianz’ to reap the benefits of the Indian insurance market.
Co-branding also has some limitations. Such relationships usually involve complex legal contracts and licenses. Co-branding partners must carefully coordinate their advertising, sales promotion and other marketing efforts. It is up to both partners to carry the co-brand with confidence and dignity.
4. Develop Brands:
To increase brand equity, it is very important to create a brand development strategy that does not fit changing business scenarios. There is no hard and fast rule to dictate.
A product’s brand name can be extended to an existing product line to accredit new shapes, colors, sizes, ingredients or flavors of an existing product. However, line extensions come with some risks. A brand name that is too long can cause consumer confusion or lose some of its specific meaning.
It happens when a current brand name is expanded into a new or modified product in a new category. For example, the popular brand of noodles from Nestlé, Maati, has been expanded with tomato ketchup, pasta, soup, etc. A brand extension gives a new product immediate recognition and faster acceptance. But one should be careful while expanding the brand as it may confuse the image of the main brand.
Multibranding provides a way to identify different features that appeal to different customer segments, free up more shelf space for resellers and capture a larger market share.
For example, a reputable company sells multiple types of soft drinks under different brand names. These brands fight each other to control the market and as a result individually they may have a smaller slice of a pie, but as a whole the company dominates the soft drink market. The major drawback here is that the individual brands only get a small share of the market and may not be very profitable.
Brands don’t emerge in a day or two; you have to have the patience to let it grow. The points above suggest some best practices for building a brand, but the real test starts in the field. Brand development strategy differs from place to place, even urban branding and rural branding are very different in their practical applications. Remember that behind a successful brand development strategy lies a lot of effort, a vividly clear vision and above all an uncompromising quality of the product or service.