A branded item refers to a specific product, service, name or symbol that labels one seller’s goods or services as distinctly different from those of other vendors. Just as there are many brands that make up the products and services of several vendors, similarly, there are many names and symbols by which businesses can identify their own. A company’s logo or sign (trademark) is therefore a unique way for business owners to advertise their own brand. While some business owners may be hesitant in using this tool, there are multiple advantages to branded items.
Firstly, branded merchandise and services have a higher perceived value than their unbranded counterparts. The very nature of the business world indicates that human beings need to be trusted above all else – perhaps nowhere more so than in their choice of vendors. A vendor’s reputation is often determined not only by customer satisfaction surveys, but also by how well they are able to stick to that reputation (e.g. whether they offer the services that customers want when they want them).
Secondly, branded products and services tend to be much more resilient in the face of adversity. Brand equity is built on reputation – if people know that your business is reliable, they will likely keep buying from you. Conversely, if they know that your business is no more than an over-hyped scam, they will more than likely avoid it altogether. This is because the credibility gap that develops between an under-served client and a well-established business vendor is much more pronounced when the latter uses traditional advertising techniques.
In terms of consumer psychology, branding is simply a set of brand associations that give customers a taste of familiarity and trust with a product or service. Branded items are the tangible expression of these associations. Branded merchandise includes such familiar items as pens, umbrellas, clothes and other things that we all carry with us in our everyday lives. Although these kinds of personal branded items do not have a particularly immediate, material impact on consumers, they do have a long term memory – they shape the way that we think about a brand and the products it sells. Branded product placement therefore plays an important role in the long term sustainability of a brand and its ability to form a significant part of a buyer’s experience with a product or service.
A third reason why branded content is so important to today’s multimedia marketing efforts is that it allows you to reach a highly specific and targeted audience. By making use of well-designed videos and branded audio clips you can bypass the mass-marketing strategies and reach directly to the exact target audience. For example, this might be useful for you if you want to advertise a mobile phone or a digital camera. You would probably be more successful advertising these items during the holiday seasons or when people are more inclined to be away from their televisions and computers. You may also be able to create branded audio clips and videos that are more closely tied to the demographic of the individual consumer. These could be used to target parents with children that are watching a particular TV series or sporting events.
Creating branded content seeks to engage the audience more than a typical ad. It tends to create an emotional connection between the brand and the customer or potential customer. For example, if your business caters to pet lovers, branded content seeks to create a more personal connection between you and the audience – something that no other ad can do. If you want to create a viral video campaign to market your latest service, it would be wise to submit it to various social networks – YouTube, Facebook and Twitter among them. The aim of these social networks is for the audience to share the video with their friends and this will increase the exposure of your brand.