A product, service, person or place can develop a reputation and a competitive advantage from branding. There are different types of brands namely, product, group and E-brands to mention a few.
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What is Branding
The process of building a unique name and identity for a product or firm is known as branding. Branding is an important marketing tool because it ensures awareness and credibility whilst creating customer loyalty. A lot of time and money is invested in building a successful brand.
The most common type of brand is the tangible individual product brand. For example, the Tesla car, or Coca-Cola drinks brand. When a company’s commodity or product wins awareness in the marketplace it becomes a branded product. Product brands normally have unique characteristics that set them apart from similar products in the market. Branded products can also be associated with a range of different offerings such as the Mercedes S-class cars. Product branding is built on logos, design, packaging, messaging, names and description. Those components come together to create an emotional connection for the customer. Product branding is influenced by the expectations a firm sets in customers through their products and meeting those expectations.
Service brands are another type of brand. They are characterised by the need to remain competitive by maintaining a high-level of service delivery. People buy services based on trust. That is why it is essential for a company to develop and manage a service brand. Examples include airlines, hotels, and retail brands such as supermarkets and restaurants. Branding a service and branding a product is slightly different because products are tangible whilst services are emotional. Customers do not buy a service they buy an experience and customer experience influences the brand. Thus, it is important to evoke a perception of value in the services of an organisation through service branding.
Corporate or organisational branding is used by businesses interested in creating and maintaining a good reputation. Organisational brands are types of brands associated with an entity. These companies or organisations can deliver products or services and branding is integral to their success. Corporate branding cuts across an organisation’s products, services, employees and organisational culture together with social responsibility. Organisational branding helps organisations develop a base of loyal supporters. The decisions made by an organisation can have positive or negative effects on a firm’s reputation. A political party or a car dealership can possess strong qualities of an organisational brand.
A personal brand is a recognised perception or impression of a person based on their experience, expertise and achievements within the community or business environment. An individual can be considered as a type of brand. In fact, people deliberately position themselves as authority figures in their industry elevating their credibility in order to stand out from the competition. Famous sport stars like Tiger Woods, television personalities, musicians and actors all represent personal brands. In some cases, social media personalities have also become personal brands. In fact, every single person has a personal brand only that popular personal brands create significant value when associated with products and services. A personal brand revolves around what other people say about a person based on how s/he presents herself/himself.
Also known as umbrella brands or family brands, group brands are types of brands where a small group of branded firms have overlapping or interconnected brand equity. For example, the rolling stones comprise of the personal brands of its members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts. In other instances, group brands can emerge from separate distinct brands that have a positive brand equity. Apple Inc. is another group brand where customers can find the iPad, iPhone and Mac Books along with all other products under the brand name. All the products within the umbrella brand are interdependent.
These types of brands are a result of a consistent experience that attracts customer loyalty. Event branding is a powerful source in targeting and attracting an audience. Events such as the Olympics, TED conferences and music festivals such as Coachella are good examples. The strength of such brands is dependent on the experience people enjoy when they attend them. In order to enhance their own product brands, companies sponsor such events because of their strong influence.
Countries, states and cities are a type of brands. This type of branding can be used for specific services or products that are unique to a particular region. Many places all over the world seek to promote their unique qualities in order to attract investment, tourism and trade. Landscapes, cuisine, tourist centres are normally advertised and associated with a region or city.
Media brands such as newspapers, magazines and television channels such as CNN are another type of brand. Today’s content distribution is much more dynamic with social media and various streaming platforms. Therefore, media branding is important in separating media companies and their products from those of competitors as well as building strong bonds with customers. Traditional magazines, newspapers and televisions face intense competition, in order to keep people engaged media branding is critical.
E-branding is simply the online presence or the digital representation of an organisation or person. It refers to the values, vision and mission of a person or organisation. In simple terms, E-brands are virtual brands. E-branding provides an online platform for delivering products or services. Like all types of brands, they focus on delivering superior products or better service or experience through a virtual environment. E-branding can be a digital asset since it helps organisations or individuals become part of the global internet community.
All types of brands contribute to the value of a company. Coca-Cola has a brand value of about US $67 billion and Microsoft’s brand is US $60 billion. Branding in general is linked to competence, credibility and quality for both products and services. In order for a company or an individual to differentiate themselves a branding marketing strategy is essential. That way it becomes easy for consumers to choose a firm’s product or service from the competition.