Branding has surrounded man ever since he has awakened himself to reasoning. Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services.
Since ancient times we have seen kingdoms having their own flags that marked their distinctive identity and territories. Since then a lot of things have changed. From being ruled by a king, we have come under the intangible control of modern capitalism, defining what we should aspire to consume through effective branding and advertising.
We are surrounded by brands and our lives revolve around them all the time, be it brushing your teeth in the morning with an Oral B toothbrush and Colgate, to consuming your Nescafe coffee, driving to work in your Honda, all the way to sleeping back at night on your Sleepwell Mattress. Our lives and choices are surrounded with brands all across and not just products.
Sometimes brands altogether take away the original identity of the product itself with
- Photocopy being called Xerox
- Instant noodles being called Maggi
- Two wheelers being called Activa
- Mineral water being called Bisleri
What these companies have achieved is extraordinary and is a result of consistent marketing activities and successful advertising campaigns, which have enabled these brands to occupy such a unique place in the minds and lives of not just consumers of the product, but people at large.
The half eaten apple
The golden arches making an ‘M’
Kucch meetha ho jaye
Zindagi ke saath bhi Zindagi ke baad bhi
Without any clear indication or reference of the company, we were still able to perceive the product or brand associated with their symbols, name, slogans, colour schemes or tag lines. Such is the power of branding. It silently occupies space in the subconscious mind of the customers.
BRANDING = IMPERSONAL INTERACTION (EXPERIENCE)
A successful brand campaign helps create a customer each time you strike a customer differently.
Every marketer uses brands as a means to achieve an interesting and involving engagement with a person through its visuals and words.
While the basic aim is to ensure greater presence, drive in numbers and boost the sales of the company, the modern approach of branding emphasises on long term wealth creation in terms of repeated sales and customer loyalty and not just short term revenue boost with short lived marketing campaign.
Even if a brand campaign does not create real time current conversions, the shares, likes and clicks showcase a clear indication of interest and involvement.
India as a market is still grooming and acceptance of a new product is still considered a courageous risk. The only way then, to break the walls of convention are to be consistent and continuous.
CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY
The markets have evolved and it goes unsaid that customer is the king. But the king today is multifaceted and multi tasking. To gain the attention of the customer today hence becomes a more complex task with the onset of multiple platforms where the consumer spends most of his time.
It is necessary for a company to be diverse in its marketing strategy trying to be consistent, continuous and uniformly active across all the platforms so that the right impact can build market presence and reputation in the minds of the customers. Social Media platforms also have their diverse users and the kind of content that gets posted on each different platform is uniquely drafted but retains similarity in visuals, words and ideas.
BRAND RECALL = REVENUE REWARD
In this world of intense competition, what receives an early recall gets rewarded. The customer perception totally depends on how you interact with the consumer and how personalised can that experience be for the consumer as a receiver of the broadcasted information.
That is the core crux of the branding process. Each marketer tries to generate a branding strategy that is crystal clear for the consumer to have the perfect first impression about the company and its products or services. Once the consumer is convinced about a company, it’s presence and is well informed about the brand, the likelihood of the customer conversion increases by manifolds.
TRAPPING AND TAPPING THE TARGET
A lot of companies have a conventional approach of relying more on marketing efforts than to spend on branding the organisation or their products / services. But must also understand that