A Brand particularly consists of a name, logo other visible features including color combinations, fonts, symbols, etc. A brand raises a number of expectations in the minds of individual goods or services. These individuals f expectations in the minds of the individuals in relation to as may be employees working with the brand, suppliers, vendors and their associates, distributors and lastly consumers. Brand creation is more than just giving a name to a product. A brand is essentially satisfaction with its needs and assuring world-class product and service quality. Three questions “who”, “what” and “why”, are very crucial for the successful branding of any product. Marketers should introduce who the product is, what does it do, and why should consumers know about it.
According to American Marketing Association, “Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or a group of the seller and to differentiate them from those of competitors”.
The term ‘branding’ is a very broad concept. It comprises of the entire effort in creating a unique space in the mind of the consumers for the product of the company, through consistent advertising and promotion campaigns. It can also be considered as the art of creating a brand. The very first motive of branding is to attract and retain potential customers through developing and maintaining e unique position in the market. In this, the means of identification of the company is recognized and established. Branding includes giving a name to the product, as parents name a baby.
According to Costantino, “Branding is to help achieve and maintain a loyal customer base in a cost-effective way in order to achieve the highest possible returns on investment”.
Brand-product relationships can be governed by using six models that are based on organizational strategies. These models explain the status and function of the brand along with describing its relationships with different products. The key branding strategies based on the features of the brand are listed below:
1) Product Branding: It is a well-known fact that a brand can simultaneously be an object, a word, a symbol, or a concept. A brand is an object as it helps to differentiate each product from other goods and services in the market. The brand is a word as it has a brand name that gives details of the product in case of oral and written communication. A brand is a symbol as it has a variety of features and it is expressed through many figurative expressions like logos, colors, forms, emblems, designs, and packaging.
Lastly, a brand is a concept as it dictates its own meaning and worth similar to any other symbol. The product branding strategy is responsible to attribute a specific name and positioning to every single product or product line. Thus, every new product gets its very own brand name exclusively owned by it. As a result, a brand portfolio is developed within the organization representing the product portfolio.
2) Line Branding: Line branding should not be confused with the concept of product lines. Here, different products manufactured/developed on the basis of one common theme are grouped together to form a single brand. Initially, a single product is launched to represent the brand concept, and gradually different complementary products are introduced in the same brand concept. The basic theme behind such branding is not altered.
For example, Lakme is involved in practicing line branding strategy. The basic brand theme of Lakme is the “source of radiant beauty.” A variety of products, complementary in nature, is offered by Lakme under this brand concept like body lotion, winter care lotion, eye make-up, foundation, etc. Through line branding strategy, the basic need of the consumers is satisfied along with fulfilling complementary needs. Lakme focuses satisfying consumers’ needs to become. attractive and beautiful. Different complementary products are offered by Lakme to fulfill this core need.
3) Range Branding: Range branding strategy looks similar to line branding strategy, but there is a significant difference between the two. Like line branding, different products are associated with basic bran Different categories of products are conceived, but these products are not complementary to each other. Diffe available under the same brand concept. Here, the basic theme of branding is the area of expertise. For example, the Himalaya Drug company offers a variety of ayurvedic medicines including skincare, body care, health care, etc. Certainly, syrup, shampoo, and face wash do not complement each other. Here, the basic concept of branding is the area of expertise. The area of expertise here is `ayurvedic medicines’. Therefore, under one brand, different non-complementary products are offered to consumers.
One of the advantages of a range branding strategy is the low spending for promotion, as a single brand covers all products in the group. Sometimes, range branding becomes a problem due to the presence of too many products under the same brand. It can also lead to confusion among the consumers and affect the brand image.
4) Endorsement Branding: Here, the company brand name is not so popular because of the popularity of the product brand. The company brand name is highlighted in smaller letters and is utilized only to give recognition to the owner. The product brand exists on its own. For example, Cadbury Dairy Milk shows the owner of the product brand. In marketing communication programs, these brands show their relationship with the parent company. Here, product brands enjoy their popularity along with highlighting their owners. A company brand is also useful in attributing certain specifications in the product brand.
5) Umbrella Branding: Just as an umbrella covers the individual(s) holding it, umbrella branding strategy covers the entire product mix of a particular company, utilizing a single brand name. Here, the brand logo or name is the same for all the products offered by the company. For example, all the products offered by the company Phillips, are offered with the brand name of Phillips. Any new additions to the product mix or product line are also named as per the parent brand.
It plays a crucial role in trial purchases, acceptance, and survival of such new products. The main advantage of such a branding strategy is that a single promotional program is sufficient for promoting the diverse products. This kind of branding may also be called as ‘family branding’. It is very crucial for different products under the family brand, to maintain a certain quality level. Weakness in one product may create a negative image of the whole brand.
6) Source Brand Strategy: This strategy is quite similar to the above-mentioned umbrella brand strategy. But unlike the umbrella brand, each product under the parent brand has its very own brand name which makes it a major distinguishing factor between these two strategies. For example, TATA company follows a source branding strategy for its products. The different products are TATA Nano, TATA Indica, TATA Indigo, TATA Docomo, TATA Sky, TATA Indicom, etc. Association of the additional brand name into the source brand is very helpful in improving the relevance of the source brand. It helps in drawing attention to particular customer segments. To cater to different. needs of the customers different brand names are designed for different products. The source brand helps in establishing new products in the market.