Successful brands create a strong positive and lasting impressions that are perceived to provide value for the audiences. Consumers may make up their opinions about a brand without direct experience (trial) on them by evaluating several of their tangible and intangible aspects. Typically a brand consists of names, terms, signs and symbol designs that are intended to identify the good and services they provide in relation to those of competitors. Therefore brands are a product of managers’ attempts to augment their products with values and associations which will be recognized by and are meaningful to their customers.

Today, with the emergence of social media, wikis, blogs and any space that supports user-generated content, consumers are more involved than ever with the defining of what a brand means to them and are more willing to share this view with their friends and family rather than with the organization. This points out that managers have reduced the influence of their brand public perception which in sequentially impacts on the influence they have managing corporate reputation.

Alright, nowadays we may exercise limited control to what is said and published about our services and products but building on our brand holistic concepts will prove more valuable than just a guide for customers make up their minds of what we are. Let’s attempt to dismantle all brand aspects and get to know how systematic branding process is done. The milestone variable to assist in finding who we are, is a set of characteristics that our targeted customers look at their favorite brand. The stage in which we define where our company stands in relation to competitors and customers is called positioning which practically accounts for just a step of the whole branding process. We are discussing this term in the next article of the series as there are more elementary steps to take before examining how to make our brand unique. In theory, certain elements should be built immediately when a company starts its operation. The essence of a strong brand is that it is sufficiently differentiated to the extent that it can hardly be replicated by its competitors. This action requires that a brand possess distinctive characteristics and to achieve this we should understand how brands are constructed.

Brands consist of two main attributes:

  • Intrinsic
  • Extrinsic

Intrinsic attributes refer to the functional characteristics of a product such as shape, physical capacity and shape. If any of the intrinsic characteristics were changed the product would change itself. Extrinsic attributes refer to those elements that wouldn’t change the material functioning and performance of the product such as brand name, packaging, price and mechanisms that can alter consumer’s brand perceptions and associations. Buyers often rely on extrinsic characteristics to make their choices because in certain categories is virtually impossible to distinguish between products based on intrinsic attributes alone.

Getting further, brand as an entity but also its building and management have been a research subject for various scholars. Most distinct studies so far are the ones displayed below. If you are interested to educate yourself further on brand building don’t hesitate to click on them

http://museum.brandhome.com/docs/P0072_Magic%20branding.pdf

http://www.kapferer.com/mp_pdf/A%26KBrandPersonality_52643.pdf    

To put it in simple terms, the brand is an entity like a person. The uniqueness of a person is established by his/her intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics. The process of branding involves the identification and detail building of those characteristics which further provide benefits to the organization. On the other hand an existing organization that rebuilds its identity and achieve fresh look and mindset, practices “rebranding”.

As a brand becomes established with a buyer, so the psychological benefits of ownership are preferred to competing offerings, and a form of relationship emerges. Brands are said to develop personalities and reflect the core values of a product. They are strong means by which a product can be identified, understood and appreciated. Marketing communications plays an important role in communicating the essence of the personality of the brand and in providing the continuity and consistency for any relationship, a necessity for a brand to be built through time. This can be achieved through the development of emotional links through support for any product symbolism that might be present. From another point of view brands get beneficial for manufacturers and intermediaries. They provide means by which a manufacturer can augment its product in a way to differentiate it from competitors, recognize it quickly and make purchase decisions that exclude competitive products and provide guidelines on the messages to be advertised reinforcing positioning and supporting core values of association.

In the end, branding is a relatively low cost most probably once in a lifetime procedure so marketers should absolutely spend some time to build organizational identity right at the start of the organization’s operation which will also help to figure out what ideal designs for tradenames and logos. This will grant them number of benefits for future use as well.  

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