A brand is a label, symbol, name, concept or anything else that identifies one vendor’s product or service as distinctly different from those of others. Brands are typically used to distinguish and differentiate products from each other. The distinguishing mark of a brand can even be a signature, or a trademark, which is normally confined to a geographical region or industry, such as the mark of a Ford car. In the United States, the most famous brands in the market are Apple, Nike and Sony.
The benefits of owning a brand are numerous. For the long term prospective of the brand, it helps people associate the brand with certain values such as quality, luxury, a particular design or trend, and loyalty. These values help people feel attached to the brand and are likely to remain with it for a longer period of time. Additionally, for the future success of the brand, it helps people feel convinced that they will get value for their money as consumers.
Brand equity, the level of satisfaction and loyalty gained by current consumers of the brand, is another important aspect of brand equity. An effective brand audit, therefore, should include data on levels of brand equity and customer loyalty. Brand equity also refers to the financial strength of a brand. A brand equity analysis helps to determine if a particular brand has the potential to increase or reduce its market share relative to its competitors. It also helps to explain the variations in brand equity such as between similar products or between similar companies in terms of performance.
The third aspect of brand equity relates to the level of trust and loyalty that customers have for a particular brand. Many companies create marketing strategies focused on increasing brand loyalty and trust. Some of these strategies include sponsoring popular events, providing a range of consumer products or services, and providing consumers with a large number of customer contacts. While these tactics are often successful in generating media coverage and garnering media attention, they do not have the same effect as they do if a company has created a name that people can easily identify with or trust. A good brand needs to be easy to associate with and consumers need to be able to trust the brand if it is to create a significant amount of business.
Brand equity and brand loyalty often come together as one, which is why companies often use these concepts in conjunction with each other. Brand equity refers to how well known and respected a brand is, while brand loyalty is measured by the extent to which customers continue to use a brand and remain loyal to it after they have purchased a product or service from it. A brand’s level of acceptance by customers often depends on how well the company markets itself. There are many different ways to market a brand, including advertisements, promotional campaigns, and word of mouth.
Developing a brand architecture involves a lot of research and development. The research that is conducted needs to identify what the unique characteristics of each brand should be and how they should be communicated. Once a brand architecture has been established, then it can be implemented by incorporating the key principals into each company’s marketing plan. Each phase of the brand architecture process needs to be carefully thought through and researched so that the desired outcomes can be achieved.