As the brand name is very important for the companies being competitive and successful in the particular market, branding, brand awareness, and brand positioning became an integral part of the marketing technology. The modern strategies incorporate psychological and business-directed issues to make the consumers one-brand-loyal using introducing different theories and assumptions concerning the brand names into practice. The current research is aimed at reviewing available literature sources and analyzing the current situation in the market of brand names. There are different issues related to the concept of brand and branding. Different scientists and researchers tend to develop their understanding and definitions applicable to different stages of branding.
Branding can be considered one of the most important parts of the development of the recognizable image of the product. When consumers are aware of the distinctive features of a certain product, they can develop their preferences which would contribute greatly to the profitability of the company owning the brand. As brand preference and selection are integral parts of the promotion of the product to the market, it is necessary to make the consumers prefer one product to others presenting a similar category of goods (Lin 250).
As demographics, values, and personal preferences can influence the recognition and therefore popularity of the product, such issues as culture, age, lifestyle, socioeconomic aspects, income level, personal values, and many others should be considered, as suggested by Lin (252). According to the study by Lin, different variables should be taken into account to meet consumers’ expectations and be aware of preferences in common product categories.
As suggested by Lategan (75), each product should be represented by certain brands. When the brand stands for a certain product or a group of products, it is necessary to talk about branding and other issues related to the concept of the brand, the development of brand awareness, and brand positioning. As a rule, people notice certain brands when they face a high quality in combination with certain logos, bright colors, recognizable and memorable names. As the brand can influence the company’s profits and the financial situation in general, the companies are concerned to develop different brands differentiated from those of the rivals.
In addition, branding is extremely important for those who aim at developing relationships with the children audience (North and Kotzé 92). As a rule, the media issues help the companies to develop the consumers’ awareness with the potential customers. When children are aware of certain brand names, they develop their preferences which may last for decades and thus be passed to the next generation.
As argued by North and Kotzé, the ‘rights brand’ can be chosen by children due to their parents’ preferences of certain brand names. In this respect, some decisions in buying products of well-established brand names can be considered the indication of adolescence. About the target consumers, the companies can implement certain marketing strategies to become more attractive for teenagers who want to seem more active, sport-oriented, or independent.
Corporate branding can be considered another part of the branding as it is presented as an integral part of the brand name when the company becomes engaged in the brand in general (Argenti and Druckenmiller 368). As a rule, companies that produce certain goods and services and need some advertising can introduce corporate branding. However, advertising can be treated as an alternative channel along with logos and names (Argenti and Druckenmiller 368).
Consequently, the corporate brand is the image of the company as it positions itself and the way it wants to be perceived by the target consumers and rivals, as suggested by Argenti and Druckenmiller (369). The image of the company is the way the consumers see and perceive it. As you can see, these two concepts are not the same, whereas some people apply both to the concepts of reputation, branding, and brand image.
When the company decides that a certain brand is required for further operation and promotion of the company to the market, the brand-building strategy suggested by Keller (2001) is aimed at helping to build the ‘right’ brand image to succeed in further operation and maintenance. In this respect, the brand identity, brand meaning, brand responses, and brand relationships should be established and developed (Keller, 2001, 5).
Thus, different steps of the brand-building strategy can be found and applied to certain businesses as different types of businesses may require various implications of the building of strong brands to succeed in the market as opposed to competitors. Thereby, the author analyses the role and impact of the implementation of different issues of the brand-building strategy on the success and recognition of different products (Keller, 2001).
The concept of branding incorporates brand awareness which is claimed to be of great importance. According to Day and Pratt, brand awareness may be said to be a concept that helps to determine the consumer’s knowledge of a particular brand. By creating brand awareness, the buying behavior among consumers is affected. Brand awareness may be determined by presenting the brand to a customer and inquiring from them if they knew something about it before. More effective ways of determining brand awareness would be through web-based interviews and telephone calls (Day and Pratt 126), which would make the company as competitive as its rivals.
Day and Pratt argue that good brand awareness brings out a clear vision of products among the consumers (126) and makes them prefer this product to others presented by competitors. It does not necessarily have to be an expensive measure; rather it requires skill and ability to educate a customer.
Brand awareness should be regarded as the means to develop the recognition of certain features of the brand in consumers and competitors because some illegal issues can reveal the genuine source of certain brand features, suchlike logos, colors, shape, and original packaging. When the rights of the copyright holder are infringed, it is necessary to indicate all the original features of the brand to be able to win the case in court. As suggested by Pham and Muthukrishnan (20), the recognition of the brand may contribute greatly to the alignment of different disputable issues while regarding the case. When the brand has particular and well-established features and the consumers are aware of those, the brand is treated as the one the rights of which are secured, and the infringement of those is easily proved.
As a rule, different studies and reports are aimed at developing the definition of brand, brand awareness, brand positioning, image, and reputation, whereas the most important aspect which concerns the brand itself is the recognition of brand (name and logo) by consumers which ensures financial performance. As suggested by Keller, Sternthal, and Tybout (6), there are certain pitfalls of brand positioning.
When the brand is established, the name and logo are created by a team of efficient marketing workers; the positioning of a brand takes place. When the position of brand is chosen inappropriately or irrelevant for a certain type of business, it is necessary to take necessary steps to fix the situation. As you can see, theory and practice do not always mean the same. The clear brand position is one of the most important issues while building a brand.
Brand names should be recognizable and memorable; different sports events can promote the brand image of the company and make the consumers aware of it. Sponsorship demands the brand image to be recognizable (Fan and Pfitzenmaier 4); moreover, sports events can make their brand images more favorable in terms of positive associations as a sport is always considered to be the one of positive orientation. In addition, being an official sponsor of the event (related to sports, music, or other cultural performance), as argued by Fan and Pfitzenmaier (10), can be one of the most effective measures while building a positive image of the company’s brand name. Logos, tickets, and other print media means are aimed at developing the consumers’ awareness of the brand’s positive image while being presented with the brand name of the sponsor of the event (Fan and Pfitzenmaier 10). Thus, events can make consumers aware of the brand name.
As brand positioning is one of the issues that can be considered the most important part of branding, it is necessary to analyze this aspect of brand positioning strategy and the marketing strategy in general. Branding is significant for companies that are influenced by the consumers’ awareness of their brand. Awareness raises demand which is contrasted to supply which is unnecessary unless the brand name can contribute to the financial situation in the company (Abreu 3).
The brand position is the way the company wants to be understood and treated by the target consumers in contrast to the competitors, as argued by Abreu (3). The brand image is regarded as a reputation of the company developed with the help of certain issues, suchlike product quality and stability of position in the market; whereas the position of brand is the way the consumers perceive the product and the company on the whole.
Customer Commitment to a Brand
Many people prefer some products because of their brand names for the latter ensure some quality and other distinctive features attributed by customers to certain brands. As loyalty to specific brands is one of the common aspects of the branding concept, it is necessary to analyze the customer commitment to a brand, as suggested by Kakiziba and Gupta. Advertising can facilitate the development of the customers’ loyalty to certain brand names through consideration of gender distinctions via incorporation of the gender balance (Kakiziba and Gupta 76), improving the overall quality (to facilitate visual recognition and perception) of the product (Kakiziba and Gupta 71-72). Informing and motivating the consumers can be rather effective in the course of the establishment of a consumer commitment to a brand.
Brand name awareness does not always mean that the company which possesses a certain brand cannot sell it because of the customers’ commitment to this brand. Thereby, the modern world experiences a great number of different cooperation involvements, relationships, and bargaining. As suggested by Naik, Prasad, and Sethi (129), the large contracts do not presuppose that the consumers would change their preferences and buy products of other companies, especially competitors of the preferred one.
Moreover, different well-established brands can be sold and purchased excluding the awareness of the population about different bargains and agreements. Consumers can be aware of the change of the owner of the brand they prefer which is unlikely to influence their preference. The only change that can be encountered is that the new owner would change the concept of the brand, whereas it would destroy the recognizable one which does not mean that the new brand would be recognizable and evaluated.
Brand Name Awareness
The brand name awareness can be developed through the development of the brand name only or using the creation of a new product with distinctive features, brand name, brand image, and attitude of customers that would be developed through all these concepts as a whole (Keller, 2002, 4). When the consumers are aware of the quality and another important aspect of a certain product, they start preferring this brand to others which promotes the brand in the market.
As suggested by Keller (2002), the associations and customers’ evaluation of the product make the brand recognizable, appreciated, and preferred (4-5). Thus, a new product is sure to be the representation of brand name in terms of good quality and reputation because consumers would be aware of the good reputation of this particular product and would buy it for sure (for the absence of bad reputation can be treated as good reputation).
Brand name awareness is of great importance for different types of businesses because it comprises the reputation of the company which is developed through the establishment of business relations, positioning of brand name, the introduction of good quality products to the market, and other issues that may contribute greatly to the development of the brand name awareness with customers (Matear, Gray, and Garrett 285).
When the new brand name is developed, it is necessary to make the potential consumers aware which may involve effective financial performance because everything new with a good reputation is commonly considered as a good product with a good brand name, as argued by Matear, Gray, and Garrett (285). Brand investment, in this respect, is considered a good marketing strategy for the development of a profitable unit that would be financially profitable and would contribute successfully to the image of the company.
The brand can make people buy certain products that go under certain names, though the price can influence the credibility of different brands, as suggested by Erdem, Swait, and Louviere. When the price becomes higher than expected by consumers that used to prefer this particular brand to others, people are ready to change their preferences and establish new ones in terms of another brand. However, a certain price level of different brands is aimed at the target consumers that can afford to buy the products of certain brand at a certain cost which cannot make them change their preference, whereas the change of quality can influence the brand and change of consumers’ preferences within any price category.
When a marketing agency has enhanced brand awareness for its products, the branded products are then positioned in the minds of the target customers, to gain a long-term impact and ensure the customer gets committed to that brand without creating confusion over various other brands. The relationship between branding and marketing is all but intertwined. Many of the products are branded to help targeted consumers identify them. Therefore, branding, branding awareness, and positioning are necessary to the market. As some products can satisfy the consumers’ needs without being developed by well-known and recognizable brands, they can be considered appropriate for occasions that do not presuppose different social consequences.
Consequently, the brand image can be also referred to as the symbolic meaning of the brand. Since market segmentation and brand positioning are closely connected, it is necessary to consider these two concepts as a whole. When the brand is established in terms of a definite name and logo which can be associated with this name, it is necessary to launch the product which would stand for the new brand name, established image, and hence would develop the company’s reputation. Various stages should be performed in a step-by-step nature because different pitfalls should be considered. Every stage of branding has its features and concepts to develop.
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