Few days ago I was sitting with my team during lunch. We were having a casual conversation around what to order. My colleagues Joshua and Susan were talking. He was hungry but had to take a quick meal as he had to go for a business meeting. Susan suggested a Sandwich as quick and easy meal, to which Joshua said “Subway”. Above conversation implies the importance of understanding Strategic Brand Management. Here in the scenario need or want is for a “quick meal”, available generic product “Sandwich” and brand choice is “Subway”. What made “Subway” pop up in Joshua’s mind as a choice for quick meal sandwich? Answer to this question lies within framework of brand management strategic.
Brand does not have a definite and absolute definition. Its definition is relative. Some observers term products or services characteristics, which differentiate it from competitors as brand, where as others would consider standing of one’s product or services in market as brand. In all scenarios, the value of product or service for what it stands and traits which identify them can be considered as brand.
Branding or Brand is considered important not only for organizations but also for the end customers. From a customer’s perspective, brand becomes important for various reasons. Brand from a customer’s point of view is an indicator of guaranteed quality from sellers. This helps in reducing time spent for a purchase decision. From a company’s standpoint, brand is sort of a benchmark in quality as well as customer expectation, which helps the company keep a distinct identity in the market and have a consistent revenue share.
Branding is normally associated from point of view of general public; and products or service displayed in malls and supermarket. However business to business market is a completely different style of branding. This is referred as corporate branding as the decision making on final purchase is drastically different from an individual buyer. The key lies in developing a brand for corporation which other businesses can be confident of.
Modern technology driven world has completely changes the way branding is done. Customers have access to unlimited information on the internet. Internet is a very strong tool through which product information gets circulated creating new benchmarks for companies. Companies have re-vitalized their marketing campaigns in response, by exploring new avenues to showcase their products and services. Sponsorship of social events, sports teams or association with social causes are a few examples which companies currently engage in to create a positive brand image.
The current market has a large number of products and services that are being offered by different companies. The identity developed for a product and associated services over a period of time, through various marketing strategies; perceived performance etc is referred to as brand. A stage is achieved where brand become synonymous with product e.g.-coffee-Barista, burger – McDonald’s, online retail-Amazon etc. This entire process is called strategic brand management.
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