Branding is one of the marketing concepts that can be confusing for many people even for people with a relevant educational background.
To understand the meaning of branding, we need to know the definition of products, and brands as well.
What is the product?
A product is an item offered for sale. It can be a service, an experience, a physical item, information, or an idea.
That means that a product can be anything from foods, drinks, holidays, online courses, training, clothes, mobile phones, computers to business consultants, etc.
Definition of Brand:
The brand is the idea or image of a product or service offered by a company that stays in the mind of the customer. It is an emotion or feelings developed towards the company or its product that are offered by the company.
Let’s think of ”Apple” as an example. iCloud services, mobile phones, tablets, computers are the products of Apple. And, the idea or image you have in your mind when you think about Apple’s products or services is the brand of Apple.
The image or the idea can be both practical (E.G. The last launched iPhone has the best camera.) and emotional (E.G. My new iPhone makes me feel special!)
A product can be easily copied by other companies but the brand always remains unique and different from other brands.
Again, think of Apple, when there are many other brands with similar products, some people are more connected to Apple and chose it over others. This can be explained only with the power of the brand. In the end, a brand is a gut feeling of a person about a product or company. And everyone has their own versions.
What is Branding?
“Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand” (Kotler & Keller, 2015)
Branding is the process of identifying, creating, and building the cumulative assets and actions that shape a brand in peoples’ minds.
As explained above, a brand provides consumers with decision-making shortcuts and differentiates from others. Branding is the strategy and the process that creates the brand.
There are different tools companies use to create their brand.
Some of the top tools that play a big impact on branding are:
- Definition of brand purpose, values, missions
- Brand identity system and visual designs such as the name, language -style, brand color/s, font/s logo design, product, and packaging designs…
- Advertising strategies and campaigns
- Human Relations such as in-store experience, workspace experience, customer service
All the tools mentioned above and many more create a brand and shape your image in peoples’ minds.
To sum up, a product is what you sell, a brand is what image or feeling that people have in their minds when thinking of your products or company, and branding is the strategy and the process that creates this image.
Let’s explain it with the ‘Apple” example again to conclude.
Apple is a company that sells Macbook Pro, MacBook Pro is one of their product.
The image or feeling you have in your mind when you think about MacBook Pro or Apple is the Brand.
The marketing, advertising strategies, and executions, Apple’s brand colors and fonts, product packaging designs, Apple’s employees’ relations, how they treat you when you want to buy their product, and how they provide support after you purchase, and everything that Apple does to help you to create an image of their brand is the Branding process. After years of the branding process, Apple has a brand image on everyones’ minds that helps you to decide either you buy their products or services or not!
We hope the article helped you have more ideas about a product, a brand, and branding. And, the importance of branding to have a strong brand image in people’s minds.
As Vakana team, we create branding strategies that help you grow your business and have a strong brand image. If you are ready to step forward and improve your brand, feel free to reach us anytime.