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What is a Brand & What is Branding? What is Essential for Branding - the Advertisement or the Brand?

Lets broadly classify the viewers segment, not all viewers are the same and nor do they think rationally.

We have viewers who get attracted by ads and they do the buying, so the first segment goes by the world as it is to be. On the other hand, we have viewers who are brand loyal and they prefer not to switch irrespective of what kind of ads the competitors run and the mega offers they promote. The second segment rely more on the status the brand projects. We do have a niche third segment they are not brand pullers, they rely more on quality and service. They rely more on their own previous experience and less on outsiders experience or influence.

Well, presently the Corporate are targeting more on the first segment viewers who are always a loss for the company because they switch brands very easily and in doing so, they are not building a better brand for tomorrow, ie, a brand which is reliable for many years. With the present day communication systems changing the way a brand has to be projected, corporates are more into promotional offer ads rather than brand building ads.

Branding is not more of visibility and less of projection. Branding is what a customer can feel at the time of purchase. It is not about the status nor what the brand carries. It is more about the internal satisfaction a customer derives at the time of purchase. So branding should work closely in building up the sense of satisfaction rather just satisfaction.

Today, the corporate world is relying more on visibility rather what they possess. It takes a sense of pride for any corporate in projecting his brand and the same should be felt by the real owners of brands i.e. the customers.

Customers build a brand for the corporate and not vice versa. These days we had brands which rely more on word of mouth to get its brand projected, so when we talk about word of mouth, it is the customer who is the real owner of the brand and not the corporate who has built the brand. Few examples of better brands in the FMCG sector include Lifeboy soap which was the first product launched in India and its been doing tremendous business even after 6 decades. It may be losing its share in the present day market but still is fairing well.

 

What are the few major reasons that are responsible for a brand loss - one is innovation. If you stop looking at the world and the way it is changing, it leads to brand loss.

Lifeboy is a traditional soap as compared to other brands which are more about being fancy and having a status. Over here Lifeboy was not able to live up to the changing world which was experiencing more value for comforts and fancy products due to which other competitors were able to eat a small pie of their share. Branding is a complex word so is the world we are living in. People are open to new products which projects false image of beauty and luxury, and one such brand which was not able to handle this peculiar situation was Medimix, which had to part with its shares, giving them to other competitors.

Film icons have been the actual brand owners in today's world - they have been promoting the brand and not the product. So these days it is the product which does most of the branding.

Here is a good example which gives a clear insight towards a product and a brand - lets talk about the automobile market, more precisely of the Two-Wheeler segment. We have two big brands - one is Hero Honda and the other Bajaj. Since a long time and till date Hero Honda was the market king with its product catering to all segments. However, of late it is losing its share to Bajaj Pulsar. This particular product has the customer pull because of its style and its projected youthful look. That doesn't mean Hero Honda is at the losing end, still its the number one player followed by Bajaj Pulsar. So Hero Honda has done a great work in building a brand based more on reliability and simplicity, which has made it more stubborn to face the world.

One good look product from Hero Honda, you can imagine the damage this brand could cause for other brands including that of Bajaj. The percentage of damage Bajaj Pulsar has caused Hero Honda may be a small or a big one, but one good product from Hero Honda with youthful look can be a devastating market for Bajaj. So Hero Honda relied more on the product it delivered and less on branding which left it to the customers to be the owners of the brand.

Please note: This is my own personal opinion and people can find the difference and in this regard views are always encouraged to be shared rather than kept silent. 

Contributed By :  V Hari Narayana Reddy, MBA Experience: 3 years in IT sales / Corporate Relations and International Email Marketing Contact Details: vattemhari@yahoo.in

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