Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brand Management: An introduction

  • Introduction: A form of branding has been used since at least Classical Greece to
    differentiate one similar product from another. There was usually little difference between the brand and the company; typically they were one and the same. Branding started to develop and came to the picture in USA around early 20th century. Many famous brands date back to this time, for instance American Express and Coca-Cola. With growing consumer sophistication branding became associated with a mix of values that gave consumers a message about a product. Even in the earliest time, the brand was a guarantee of homogeneity and a signal of product quality. For example, in medieval trade guilds in Europe, potters marked their products with a thumbprint, fish, cross or some other differentiating mark into the wet clay. Presumably, they expected customers to seek out this mark in the future if they were satisfied with a past purchase. However, branding became more important over time as manufacturers and sellers lost face-to-face contact with their customers. This was due to the appearance of means of distributing products across wide trading areas, like railways. Since there was an absence of face-to-face seller – customer interaction, the brand assured product authenticity and consistency of quality.
  • Definition of a Brand: There are many definitions of a brand. Like Aaker (1991), Keller (1998). Kotler (1994) & Lovelock (1999) defines brand as “Distinguishing name and/or symbol intended to identify and differentiate”; Brandt & Johnson (1997, Gilmore 1997) defines it as “Tangible product plus intangible values”. Peter Doyle of Warwick University has given a comprehensive definition: “A name, symbol, design, or some combination which identifies the product of a particular organization as having a substantial, differentiated advantage”.........

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