Branding could include a number of variables important to the strategic decision-making process of an organization. By understanding the needs of your target audience, you can successfully expand your brand, based on the benefits you provide for them. Furthermore, your success is dependent on brand awareness and customer loyalty. Different types of branding take the selling process to a new level.
o Personal – This is probably the easiest type of branding. You market yourself by becoming an expert and building a good reputation in your chosen field. As you gain distinction in your line of expertise, you are increasing your perceived value in the marketplace.
o Corporate – Products having the company’s name as the product name (e.g. Coors)
o Corporate Parent Brands – Combines individual product names with the corporate name (e.g. General Mills Cheerios)
o Distinct Product Brands – Used in an individual main strategy. Chances are if the particular product fails, it would not hurt the reputation of the manufacturer (e.g. Tide)
o Brand Extensions – This occurs when attaching a popular brand name to a new product in a non-related product category. Products are complimentary. Symbols and logos can also be transferred while retaining their meaning.
o Co-Brands or Range Branding – This occurs when two companies combine their individual products to have both names highlighted in this product.
Branding isn’t just about advertising, but it’s about taking what you know and revolutionizing it into something new. Even though the Great Depression is believed to be the most severe economic crisis triggered by the stock market crash of 1929 in the U.S., a handful of companies in various industries continued to advertise to consumers. By continuing to reach out to consumers when many thought they were crazy for doing that, especially in light of the current economic state, they actually catapulted their companies into recovering faster, with a larger customer base and greater sales, after the Great Depression ended.
Brand equity, a set of assets or liabilities connected to a company’s brand name and symbol, adding to or subtracting from the value that a firm’s products or services provide, consist of:
o Brand Associations
o Brand Awareness
o Brand Loyalty
o Perceived Value and Quality of a product or service
o Other assets including trademarks and patents
In order for organizations to meet and exceed their goals through increased product differentiation, they must continue to be cognizant of and react to changes in the needs of their target market, their competitors market and risk reduction through ethical and socially responsible practices.