Branding is a critical part of any business' success; if you'd like to pursue a career in business, it's crucial to understand how branding works.
From a shallow point of view, brand is what's given by a company to its merchandise so the manufacturer can be identified by consumers. Yet, after an increasing evolution on the production systems that allows almost any manufacturer to make high quality and satisfactory products, brands became a way of distinguishing simple commodities and their manufacturers by status, emotional characteristics and subjective qualities. A well-built brand gives the company or product personality, and evokes emotional and subliminal characteristics that are not necessarily found in the company or product themselves.
A brand is built, initially, considering the following main characteristics:
- The target public -- its preferences, interests and ways by which it might be attracted.
- The geographic place -- its particularities, culture, population, weather, history, etc.
- The selling place -- its consumers' habits, other merchandising available for sale and the nearby selling places.
- The market -- similar products and eventual gaps or saturations on the distribution, communication and manufacturing.
- Communication -- advertisement and other marketing actions, as well as brand building of similar products.
After a market analysis, the building is started, accomplishing the following steps (not necessarily in the given order):
- Creation of a name by the company owner, its marketing department or an advertisement agency.
- Creation of a logo, considering its applications and future uses. It's usually done by an ad agency or a design company.
- Creation of a personality that encompasses all the characteristics the brand is supposed to have. It's done by the marketing department or an advertisement agency.
- Elaboration of marketing actions that will publicize the new brand and its values, in the best way to reach the desired market and public. The choice of the market actions depend on the budget available, the market size, its peculiarities, the public, etc.
After a deep marketing analysis and a study of the best values to be attributed to the product, the brand is launched as a pool of subjective characteristics that are not materially present in the merchandise. If a brand becomes too old or old-fashioned, or if it doesn't attracts the market or public it is supposed to, actions of repositioning can be done. These actions can evoke the brand a new personality or reach new markets and consumers, and can be done by communication and marketing actions as well as logo and package changing.
All those studies and hard work, when well done, result in much-valorized brands that have a trademark value even higher than all properties and stocks of the company itself. The most famous example of such brands is Coca-Cola. Although you may not reach their level, you can definitely develop more effective branding for your company by taking some business marketing courses online.