The emotions and story behind products, a promise that product will represent a certain level of quality, functionality and status - this is the major partition of what brand means. In other words, Brand shapes customer expectations. It differs form products because “brand is what customers buy”, while products are “what companies produce”.
Brand is a promise from the company to its customers, it shapes customer’s expectations about the product or service. Apple, BMW, Nike or McDonalds, when people hear those names, in their heads, they instantly have an image of what those brands represent. Brand is a set of points that build that image, points like high quality, premium pricepoint, great design, good customer support, fast service. A strong brand is a means of making people aware of what the company represents and what are its offerings.
To a consumer, brand means and signifies:
Source of product
Confidence in product’s quality
Less search cost
Deal or pact with the product manufacturer
Brands have impact on consumers purchase decision. Over a period of time, consumers discover the brands which meet with their expectations, resulting in creating a relationship that can lead to multiple purchases. What’s more, good brand position and recognition saves consumers time and makes the purchases faster. Relationship between brands and their customers create long term loyalty, a belief that certain manufacturer’s product will meet with customers expectations and perform better than their competition.
To a seller, brand means and signifies:
Basis of competitive advantage
Way of bestowing products with unique associations
Way of identification to easy handling
Way of legal protection of products’ unique traits/features
Sign of quality to satisfied customer
Means of financial returns
A brand, in short, can be defined as a business’s promise to their customer, that they will consistently deliver a product or service with unique set of characteristics, advantages and quality. It is a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of all these planned to differentiate the goods/services of one seller or group of sellers from those of competitors. Some examples of well known brands are Mc Donald’s’, Mercedes-Benz, Sony, Coca Cola, NIKE, etc.
A brand connects the four crucial elements of an enterprise- customers, employees, management and shareholders. Brand is nothing but an assortment of memories in customers mind. It represents values, ideas and even personality of business. It is a set of functional, emotional and rational associations and benefits which have occupied target market’s mind. Associations are nothing but the images and symbols associated with the brand or brand benefits, such as,The sound of Coca-Cola can opening, The Nike Swoosh, etc. Benefits are the basis for purchase decision.