What is a Brand?
The unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, used in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind (brand positioning). Thus brands help consumers make a decision in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value. The legal name for a brand is trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name (Business dictionary, 2010)
“Any brand is a set of perceptions and images that represent a company, product or service. While many people refer to a brand as a logo, tag line or audio jingle, a brand is actually much larger. A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced “(Persuasive Brands, 2010)
Brands enable a buyer to easily identify the offering of a particular company.
David Ogilvy’s definition of a brand is; the intangible sum of a products attributes; its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it is advertised.
Is Arsenal football club a brand? Is Jozi a brand? Are you a brand?
From the definitions above we can deduce that Arsenal football club, Jozi and you yourself are brands. People have an emotional connection with a brand such as Arsenal and the brand promises the fans a certain experience when they go to watch a game.
Jozi, the Hip-Hop group are also a brand as they provide a consistent performance that fans can expect every time they watch them or listen to their music. From the way they sound to their clothes, Jozi is a brand.
People can be brands as we can see from popular stars like Paris Hilton. People brand themselves by the actions they do consistently over time, you then create an expectation for others around you and they then know how to interact with you and how will most likely react.
Brands can be thought of as having an emotional and performance dimension. How do marketers build brands?
Marketers build brands over time through;
- Consistent messages or communication through advertisements,
- Recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues,
- Interactions with a company and its representatives,
- Real life experiences of using a product or service
Business dictionary, 2010: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/brand.html#ixzz1050Rms2o
Persuasive brands, 2010: www.persuasivebrands.com