Lesson 5: Branding

Unit 1: Definition of Branding
A distinctive feature that a professional salesman must possess is the ability or skill to create, protect, maintain and upgrade brands. A brand can be described as a name, sign, term, symbol or design or combination of these used for identification of products or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.

A brand pinpoints, identifies and distinguishes the maker or seller of a product or service. Therefore, when we mention brand in salesmanship or marketing, the following meanings come to mind:

a. Brand as an attribute
For example, ASSURE Educational Services providing qualitative online learning portal and evaluation tests for students in Nigeria.

b. Brand as benefit
In most cases, customers buy goods or services because of the benefits they can derive from them, not because of their attributes. For this reason, attributes of any product must be translated into functional benefits.

c. Brand as projector of personality Brand projects image and personality.
For example, wealthy people, popular artiste, etc like to buy expensive brands to project their status in the society. Some will like to buy latest cars, clothes, jewelries, etc.

Unit 2: Branding Identity
Brands are identified through logos, graphic representations, signage, etc. Brands are very essential to the extent that in recent times, a company’s brands and its public awareness are being used as yardstick for evaluating the company. Some brand experts believe that the intangible sum of a product features its name, package, price, history, reputation and the way it is advertised.

Unit 3: Major Branding Decisions
There are some decisions that are very vital when an organization is embarking on branding. These decisions are strategic, so branding experts must be incorporated into the decision-team so as to achieve a worthwhile result. These decisions include:

a. Brand name selection
b. Brand sponsor
c. Brand strategies

a. Brand name selection:
Before naming a brand, a firm should first decide whether or not to put a brand name on its products. However, in modern times, branding has become so vital that hardly could any product or service go to the market unbranded. The brand name should be carefully chosen because it determines the product failure or success.

A good brand name leads to a product success. Brand name therefore is a word, name, symbol, etc especially one that is legally registered as a trademark, used by a manufacturer or service provider to identify its product distinctively from others of the same types arid usually prominently displayed on its products and in advertising. Brand name may also be a company’s product line or service that is universally known as brand name. It could also be referred to as an icon or famous person in a field, industry or sector.

Features of Brand Name
(i) Conciseness
—The brand name should be short and simple.
(ii) Recognizable — Brand name should be easy to identify and remember.
(iii) Pleasant & Rhythmic — It should be easily pronounced and attractive when heard.
(iv) Value — Brand name should be able to suggest product’s value and benefits to customers at a glance.
(v) Readability — It should be clear for people to read.

Varieties of Brand Name Styles
(i) Acronym names
: e.g. UPS, MTN, IPNS, AIT, etc
(ii) Illustrative names: that describe a product benefit e.g. Nice tea, Fine cream, Value butter, Maclean, etc.
(iii) Evocative names: These are names that arouse or bring to mind vivid image of products or services. Examples of such brand names in Nigeria are: GTB, Fidelity, Amazon, etc.
(iv) Founders name — Founders name entails the usage of the names of people that invent a product or founder of a particular business or service. Examples of founders brand names in Nigeria include: Dangote cement, Dangote flour, Alabukun pain relever, Lever Brothers, etc.
(v) Alliteration and rhyme names —These are brand names that are coined or formed with comical themes. Rhyme brand names are funny to pronounce and easily stick to customers’ mind. Examples of such brand names include: Cheese balls, Bo-bo juice,
(vi) Neologism names – These are brand names that are newly coined. They are also known as buzzword and give new meanings that are relevant to the product or service. Examples of such names include; Kodak, Visafone, Spectranet etc.
(vii) Personification — Some brands are named from myth line. They are given names based on historical or cultural events or people. Examples of such brand names include: NIKE, Ethihad, Kiwi, etc.
(viii) Geographical names — This entails naming a brand based on regions and landmarks, especially where such product or service is developed. Examples include Fuji film, Cisco, etc.

b. Brand sponsor
Brand sponsorship entails creation, financing and ownership of brand. Basically, there are three brand sponsorship options in branding. They are:

(i) Manufacturer’s brand or National brand
(ii) Private Brand / Middleman brand / Distributor brand/Store brand
(iii) Family Brand

(i) Manufacturer’s brand — This is a brand that is developed, created, owned and sponsored by the producer of a product or service. The producer does not transfer the right of branding to its distributor; middlemen or affiliate firms.

The name given to the brand has sole right which all distributors must be using both nationally and internationally. Examples of manufacturer’s brand are numerous. They include the following: Guinness stout, Coca-cola, Samsung, Nokia, Binatone, Volvo, Toyota, etc.

(ii) Private Brand / Middleman brand / Distributor band / Store brand
— This is a brand created, financed and owned by a reseller of a product or service. In this type of brand sponsorship, the middleman reserves the right to control the products he stock, how to display them for customers, how to advertise them for customers.

However, the middlemen (wholesalers, distributors, retailers) charge the manufacturers slotting fees for doing this. Private brand also encompasses the usage of the established brand names of two different companies on the same product.

(iii) Family Brand
When a company manages several products uniformly under one brand, we call it a family brand. They are often part of a common product group, product line, etc. – meaning the products are related. Two typical family brands are Nivea and tesa. In this case, the company brand Beiersdorf as an overarching umbrella brand is of secondary importance.

Benefits of a family brand strategy
Benefit of a family brand strategy: Products can be managed quickly and at low cost under an established brand, because they can take advantage of the existing trust and knowledge of consumers. Brand building efforts and marketing costs are therefore lower than with a single brand strategy.

Disadvantage of a family brand strategy
Should this product be afflicted with a negative image, this could conceivably rub off on all other products run under the family brand. Also, it is difficult – compared to single brand strategies – to specifically position individual products. Another key challenge is the high coordination effort required. From a brand strategic perspective it is particularly relevant that the individual brand products fit well with the brand core. This is crucial for the brand’s credibility, and the only way to ensure that new products will be accepted by consumers.

(c) Brand Strategies
Brand strategies are series of methods adopted by a manufacturer to introduce brand names to the public. There are four strategies of branding. They include:
i. Line Extension
ii. Brand Extension
iii. Multi-brands
iv. New brands

(i) Line Extension
— This is a brand strategy that a company adopts when introducing additional items in a particular product line or category using the same brand name. Examples of line extension in Nigeria is Dangote brand name. These brand names include Dangote spaghetti, Dangote flour, Dangote noodles, etc. If Dangote group wants to introduce a new product, the same name can still be adopted using line extension e.g Dangote yeast.

(ii) Brand Extension
— This is a brand strategy that involves the use of an existing, and successful brand name to launch new products in a new products line. This strategy allows the new product to capture greater market share and makes advertising efficient because the name is already known in the market. Example of brand extension is Toyota motor manufacturing company that put its name on most of its new electronic products. This creates immediate perception of standard quality for each new product.

(iii) Multi-brands
— Firms adopt this strategy to introduce additional brands in the same category. It gives companies the opportunity of developing two or more brands in the same product category.

(iv) New brands
— These involve creation of a new brand name for a product or service when it enters a new product category for which none of the company’s current brand names are appropriate. This may be done through acquisition.

Unit 4: Advantages of Branding
(i) Branding makes differentiation of products and services easier for customers. It makes shopping efficient for customers and enhance their choice.
(ii) Branding develops loyal customers against competition – If a manufacturer produces good product, its reputation and image are always positive in the minds of customers. Hence,, there is speedy acceptance of other products made by such manufacturer.

(iii) Branding aids repeat purchase. The producer or seller uses branding to develop customers for products’ patronage. This subsequently leads to customers’ patronage, loyalty, reduces selling effort and increases profit projections.
(iv) Branding protects producers’ rights. Branding protects the rights of the seller from pirates and others. It gives producers the sole right on his brand. This also facilitates customers’ interest.
(v) Branding ensures quality and dependability. Brands are recognized as symbol of values, status symbols, class symbols, etc.

Unit 5: Disadvantages of Branding

(i) Branding may lead to redundancy
— Some companies relent on their marketing efforts and activities as soon as their brand names are accepted by the public. Some even neglect other aspects of marketing like market research, sales promotion, sales forecast, etc.
(ii) Branding leads to unhealthy competition
— Branding results in unhealthy rivalry among producers of the same products. Some go to the extent of adopting irrelevant brands so as to be the leader in the market.
(iii) Branding may lead to neglect of product quality
— Some companies may rely on wide acceptance of their brands and refuse to improve on the quality of those products. Also, customers who see brand names as symbol of social status do not consider quality rather they shop for brand names.

Scroll Down to Select Page 7 for the next topic – Lesson 6: Packaging

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