A brand (or marque for car model) is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising.
Initially, livestock branding was adopted to differentiate one person’s cattle from another’s by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin with a hot branding iron. However, the term has been extended to mean a strategic personality for a product or company, so that ‘brand’ now suggests the values and promises that a consumer may perceive and buy into.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company from competitors and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand’s toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication (such as by logos and trademarks), brand awareness, brand loyalty, and various branding (brand management) strategies. Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand’s worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components.
In a fleeting market where traditional linear models of business are being replaced by more radical interconnected models, brand equity is one marketing technique that remains firmly rooted in prosperity. To reach such an invaluable brand prestige requires a commitment to a particular way of doing business.
A corporation who exhibits a strong brand culture is dedicated on producing intangible outputs such as customer satisfaction, reduced price sensitivity and customer loyalty.
A brand is in essence a promise to its customers that they can expect long-term security, a competitive frame of reference and consistent delivery of functional as well as emotional benefits.
When a customer is familiar with a brand or favours it incomparably to its competitors, this is when a corporation has reached a high level of brand equity.
In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset is often the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed (e.g.: prioritized across a portfolio of brands) to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company’s balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value.
The word “brand” is often used as a metonym referring to the company that is strongly identified with a brand.
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.