Branding Strategy, the passport to market capturing (Part 1)

Productivity, efficiency, atomization lead to more products in the market. More products require more consumers, more consumers require more sales efforts, more sales require more marketing & more marketing requires better BRANDING for awareness & acceptability of the product .

Factories established during the Industrial revolution of 1900 mass-produced goods and needed to sell their products to a wider market and to customers familiar only with locally-produced goods. A generic package of soap had difficulty competing with familiar, local products. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince the market that the public could place just as much trust in the non-local products. Coca Cola and Quaker Oats were amongst the first products to be ‘branded’, in an effort to increase the consumer’s familiarity with their products.

Soap is a soap till it is branded. Brand LUX is perceived as beauty & also is a tool to give beauty & this was possible when it was branded as LUX. The support of marketing was on its attributes and till the customer asked for the brand, the exercise of branding was not complete. To propel business in public consciousness- customer interaction, employee communication, corporate philosophy, branding strategy is an essential constituent.

Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or a company. It is the most valuable element in advertising as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition & when it enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise and as a result branded products or services command higher prices.

Brand recognition & recall is the ultimate goal of the marketers. Top of mind awareness occurs when the brand is the first thought in the consumer’s mind when asked to name a brand in the said product category. For example, detergent means Nirma to masses in India, thanda means Coca Cola and toothpaste means Colgate- this is the power of brand recall on top of the mind thoughts .The dynamic ribbon & the unique shape of the bottle are the trademarks of the brand Coca Cola.Coca Cola bottle

Global brand is one which is perceived to reflect identical set of values around the globe. It transcends its origins and creates strong everlasting relationships with consumers across countries and cultures. Examples of global brands which have made nations proud are NIKE, REEBOK, COCA COLA, GILLETTE, MAGGI, SONY and Mc DONALDS and our own TATA coupled with JAGUAR.

ReebokAcceptability for a product is multiplied once it shapes to a brand. Before liberalization, India was a marketers paradise, whatever was produced was easily saleable. Come circa 1991 and India opened its shore for global products, the local Industry also got a boost initially as back end supplier of components and latter as marketers to the global village of manufacturers. Bajaj rebranded its products category of motorcycles as Pulsar & HERO Honda to Hero- rest is case study of growing Indian brands. Amla oil is more known as Dabur Amla oil & coconut oil as Vatika, masala candy as HAJMOLA- that’s the strength of branding  .

Branding takes the push marketing to pull as the product is recalled by the customer. Marketing & advertisement execution takes forward from there to scale the attributes of a brand with promotions, tag lines, corporate slogans, product names, features and positioning.

Branding also attacks cultural differences. Vicks formula 44 was a flop in China as 44 in Chinese means die, Campa Cola was not successful in Andhra as Campa in telgu indicates shit. Brand managers have to take a holistic view before a brand is named/ launched globally .

A product when acquires the crown of a Brand has to respond more responsibly. The sanctity of a brand is equally important with its advertisement. Fair & Lovely is advertised as whitening cream in India but cannot use the same message in African countries, Bryl cream was mistakenly used as butter substitute in Africa in 80s- The company saw the sales going north, immediately gave the press release /statements about the brand’s misuse & stopped the supply to prevent the image being tarnished elsewhere as the brand attributes were being misused .

Marketing and advertising are the soul & heart, while BRANDING is the mind to conquer the wallet… More in Part 2 .

    1. Marketing is the key/essence/lifeline for the positioning/success of a product…this line sums it all, “jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai ” 🙂

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