Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1121
, Published on 04 February 2015
Coca-Cola, Fair & Lovely, Airtel etc. are some of the few companies which have carved a niche for themselves in the competitive market, not because they sell something unique but because they have created a value for themselves i.e. they are “Brands”. A brand is an intangible asset (which can be sold at a good price) which refers to the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers. Brand is a marketing tool that stimulates recognition and helps in developing a personality and reputation that stands out among its competitors. Brand helps a product to eliminate its competitors by creating a mark of its own in the customer’s memory.
Let’s take for example if a person is out of house and suddenly he feels thirsty, he won’t go to the shop and ask for water but he would ask the shopkeeper to give him a Coca-Cola, this does not only make Coca-Cola win over its competitors like Pepsi, Thumbs up etc., but also eliminates its substitutes like water, and other fruit drinks. The magic of brand is such that it makes most of the customer believe in the quality of the product without having any second thoughts. For example, a lady goes to a supermarket to purchase washing powder, there she has two choices to chooses from, one an unbranded washing powder and the other some branded washing powder, which one do you think she will choose?, no prizes for guessing, it’s the branded one, although the unbranded powder might be offering her more quantity at a less price, she would not prefer it, because people trust brands. Brands sometimes automatically create a sense of satisfaction in the customer just by using it. Take the case of various costly bikes and cars like Harley Davidson, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche and BMW etc. to name a few, these automatically create a sense of satisfaction in the user once they use it and this satisfaction is sometimes immeasurable.
Image COurtesy: freedigitalphotos.netm Stuart Miles
Customer Satisfaction is generally of three types-
• Dissatisfaction- when the product does not meet the expectations of the customer, it’s called customer dissatisfaction.
• Satisfaction- when the product meets the customer’s expectations, it’s called customer satisfaction.
• Delight- when the product exceeds the customer’s expectations, it is called customer delight.
Brands generally make the customer either satisfied or delighted. I doesn’t mean to say that no customers are dissatisfied with branded products, I just want to say that the percentage of dissatisfied customers as compared to satisfied ones are very low.
Brands offer various benefits to the producer like higher prices, higher market share, higher profit margins, better distribution, and customerloyalties etc.But brand is not easy to create. A strong brand is backed up by careful planning, long term commitment, keen understanding of the product, its competitors and the market etc.
One of the important things that affect a brand is the way it is portrayed or marketed. Brands need to market themselves properly in order to reposition themselves in the customers mind and to overcome the competitions that is coming up every day in the market.Advertisement is one of the tools that introduces customers to a product and plays an important role in creating a brand. Let’s take the example of the chocolate industry, there are many chocolate brands available in the market, Dairy Milk was wise with its heart touching advertisement of “ Shubh Arambh” and since then there is no looking back for them, they rule over the chocolate industry with the highest market share, then came 5 star which with its “Ramesh-Suresh” advertisement and gave stiff competition to Dairy Milk, these brands were able to reposition themselves in the minds of the customer and hence were able to increase their sales as compared to the other chocolate brands available in the market. In the same manner Vodafone with its famous “zoo-zoo” advertisements won many hearts along with market share.
Many brands take the help of Brand Ambassadors who help in uplifting the brand value in the eyes of the customers. For example, Boost with Sachin as its brand ambassador was able to add value to its product in the industry where its major competitors like Horlicks and Bournvita don’t have a strong brand ambassador.
Unilever, P&G etc. are some of the parent companies which manufacture many goods, these companies are themselves a brand. Many customers trust the products made by these companies because of their brand value, thus the product made by these companies also become a brand and are easily sold off.
Brand build customer’s faith in them and thus they rule over the market over longer time. New innovations made under the old brand names find their way to people’s brain. Example- Ponds initially started with cold cream, then came Pond’s fairness cream, Pond’s face wash and the latest Pond’s BB cream, all these are easily sold off as people trust the brand “Ponds”.
Creating of brands require lots of research about the market condition, the requirement of the people, the upcoming competition and a clear vision of what you want to produce, how you want it to be perceived and who is your target audience etc., but once created these brands attract customer’s towards themselves. Known brands just jump off the shelves in supermarket because they have achieved their marketing goals.
A good brand is able to constantly update itself in the customer’s mind and thereby requires less marketing. Once loyal to a brand, it is hard for the customer to leave it and go for a new product. Brands are generally not affected by competition. But with the upcoming number of choices that market is offering it is not hard to change the customers mind. So brands need to be ready to fight with the new competitors, who knows, today’s brand may become a story tomorrow.
This article has been authored by G.Preethi from Emerald’s School of Business, Tirupathi
• Wikipedia- Brand
• Marketing Management by Philip Kotler
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