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If customer today is really the king then the single most important job in marketing is the
job of creating and retaining a customer. And the best way of creating and retaining
customer is by building strong brands. In a simple equation:

Brand = Product + Image

A brand is more, much more than mere product it stands for. A brand is amalgam of
physical product and notional images that go with the brand. When we recall a brand, not
only do we recall the physicality of the product but also the images it conjures.

The hub of advertising today is to go beyond mere selling. Advertising has to create those
positive images that linger in the consumers mind, i.e. endow the brand with all those
positive values that will make it more attractive to the target consumers.

The ‘Brand Building’ advertising is not an accident or a mere fluke. It is an orchestered

attempt to use the right processes and procedures by a team of well trained people, of
total teamwork with the other agency teams (Servicing, Creative, Planning, Media) and
clients team (Brand Management, Development).

Branding Is a Process:
• Brand Name
• Brand Looks
• Brand Associations
• Brand Personality
• Brand Attitude
All these above are manageable concepts, born and brought up in the minds and hearts of
consumers, linked to each other in more ways than one. These if ‘added’ to product lead
to creation of a brand. These form part of suggested process of ‘Branding’ and together
lead to Brand Relationship, the output of the process of Branding.

Brand Relationship: Is the ultimate achievement – need of branding. All other aspects
(e.g. Brand Positioning) might happen but if this doesn’t happen the job is incomplete.
Brand Relationship happens if ‘image’ and ‘attitude’ for brand exists. It is the resultant
effect of these two aspects of a brand.

Brand Attitude: Defines what the brand thinks about the consumer, as per the consumer.
A brand may have attitude on one or more aspects.

Brand Image: Includes two aspects of a brand – its association and its personality. A
brand may have image on one or more aspects.
Brand Association: Includes all that is linked up in the memory about the brand. It could
be specific to attributes, features, benefits or looks of the brand. A brand may have range
of associations. But one association that stands out in memory and differentiates it
becomes the ‘Position’ of a brand. A brand may have one or more association but no

Brand Looks: Is represented by brand name and its symbol. To reinforce brand
association brand name is a must. Symbol may not be necessary but if it exists it
simplifies the process of brand relationship.

Brand Symbol: Includes two visual signals of a brand – its character (e.g. Amul girl,
Pillsbury Doughboy, Asian Paints Gattu) and its logo.

• ‘Necessary’ aspects for brand relationship to exist are: Brand Name, Brand
Association and Brand Attitude.
• Highly desirable aspects for brand relationship to exist are (excluding the
‘necessary aspects) Brand Position & Brand Symbol

Brand Symbols: Can be created across ten concepts in order to add value to brands.

1. Non living characters: Jolly Green Giant- Doughboy for Pillsbury, Captain Cook,
Strong Man for MRF
2. Animal: Tiger for Britannia Biscuits, Dog for HMV, Tortoise for Mosquito Coils
3. Pack: Famous Coke bottle
4. Nature: Coconut Tree for Hair Oil, Apple for Apple Computer, Lime for Cinthol
5. Things/Objects: Wheel for Wheel detergent, Sword for Dettol,
6. People: Mom with a sleeping baby for Goodknight, Girl in white frock- Nirma
7. Geometric Shapes: HP, BPCL, State Bank of India, Maruti
8. Scenes: Marlboro Country, Liril Waterfall
9. Monuments: Taj Mahal –Taj Tea, Char Minar for Charminar Cigaretts
10. Logo: When none of the above exists its logos is the only symbol

(Please also refer to Philop Kotler page# 418 to 421)

What Is Branding Decision & What is Brand?

Branding is a major issue in product strategy. Well known brands command a price
premium. Japanese companies such as Sony and Toyota, have built a huge brand-loyal
market. At the same time developing a branded product requires a great deal of long-term
investment, especially for advertising, promotion and packaging.

IMC- Integrated Marketing Communications plays an extremely - important roll. It is an

integral part of the entire Brand-Building exercise.
The American Marketing Association defines a Brand as “a name, term, symbol,
or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one
seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. Thus a
brand identifies the seller or maker.”

A brand is a complex symbol that can convey up to six levels of meaning.

1. Attribute – A brand brings to mind certain attributes (Mercedes suggests
expensive, well-built, well-engineered, durable, high-prestige automobiles).
2. Benefit – The attribute must be translated into functional and emotional benefits
(The attribute ‘durable’ could be translated into functional benefit “I wont have
to buy another car for several years”. The attribute ‘expensive’ translates into
emotional benefit- the car makes me feel important and admired)
3. Values - The brand also says something about the producer’s values. Mercedes
stands for high performance, safety and prestige.
4. Culture – The brand may represent certain culture. The Mercedes represents
German Culture: organized, efficient, high quality.
5. Personality – The brand can project a certain personality. The Mercedes may
suggest a no-nonsense boss(person), efficient, high quality.
6. User – The brand suggests the kind of consumer who buys or uses the product.
We would expect to see a 55+year old executive behind the wheel of a Mercedes,
not a 20 year old secretary.

Companies need to research the ‘POSITION’ their brand occupies in customer’s

mind. Because ultimately, a brand resides in the minds of consumers.
(Please refer to notes on ‘Positioning’)

People Associate Brand with:

a) Word Associations – The word invariably tries to emphasize the positive and
unique image. The sound emanated while pronunciating it gives pleasant,
powerful, loving, soft resonance with often a recall value.
b) Personifying the Brand – The word helps describe a kind of person/personality,
animal. The brand ‘Persona’ delivers a picture of more human qualities of the
c) Laddering up to find the ‘brand essence’- ‘Brand Essence’ relates to the deeper,
more abstract goals consumers are trying to satisfy with the brand. It has a
functional benefit and an emotional benefit.
The strongest brands present more than a rationale appeal. They pack an emotional
wallop. Emotional Branding argues that successful brands must engage customers on
a deeper level, touching universal emotions. Brand builders today lay emphasise on
surprise element, passion element and excitement element surrounding a brand and
lees on projecting tangible attributes.

If the brand evokes a strong set of beliefs and values, the company must be careful
not to stray away from this.

Building Brand Identity: Building the brand identity requires additional decisions
on brand’s name, logo, color, a tagline and symbol. At the same time one must
remember that brand is much more than a name, logo, colour, a tagline or symbol.
These are marketing tools and tactics. A brand is essentially a marketer’s promise to
deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services consistently to the buyers. The
marketer must establish a mission for the brand and a vision of what the brand must
be and do. The marketer must think that he is offering a contract to the customers
regarding how the brand will perform. The brand contract must be honest.

At best brand campaign will create name recognition, some brand knowledge, may be
even some brand preferences. But an ad campaign does not create brand-bonding, no
matter how much the company spends on advertising and publicity. Brand bonding
occurs when customers experience the company as delivering on its benefit promise.

The fact is that “brands are not built by advertising but by brand experience”. All
the customers’ contact with the company employees and company communications
must be positive. The brand idea will not take unless everyone in the company lives
the brand.

For everyone in the company to understand and deliver on the brand promise first
need to carry on ‘Internal Branding’ with their employees to understand and deliver
on brand promise.

To Build Brands in New Economy

1. Companies should clarify the corporation’s basic values and build the corporate
brand. Sony, HDFC, GE, P&G, TATA, Nestles, HLL etc., have built strong
corporate brands. Their name on a product or service creates an image of quality
and value.

2. Companies should use brand managers to carry out tactical work, but the brands
ultimate success will depend on everyone in the company accepting and living the
brand’s value proposition.
3. Companies need to develop a comprehensive brand-building plan to create
positive customer experience at every touch-point – events, seminars, news,
telephone, e-mail, person-to-person contact

4. Companies need to define the brand’s basic essence to be delivered whenever it is

sold. Local executions can be varied as long as they deliver the feel of the brand.

5. Companies must use the brand-value propositions, services and product


6. Companies must measure their brand-building effectiveness not by the old

measures of awareness, recognition and recall, but by more comprehensive set of
measures including customer-perceived value, retention and customer advocacy.

Brands vary in the amount of power and value they have in the market place.
• At one extreme there are brands that are not known by most buyers.
• There are brands for which buyers have a fairly high degree of Brand Awareness
• Then there are brands with a fairly high degree of Brand Acceptability
• Then there are brands that enjoy a high degree of Brand Preference
• And finally there are brands that command a high degree of Brand Preference

There are Five levels of customer attitude towards a brand from lowest to highest:
1. Customer will change brands, especially for price reasons – No Brand Loyalty.
2. Customer is satisfied. No reason to change the brand.
3. Customer is satisfied and would incur costs by changing brand
4. Customer values the brand and sees it as a friend.
5. Customer is devoted to the brand.
Brand Equity is highly related to how many customers are in classes 3, 4, or 5 above. It is
also related to the degree of brand-name recognition, perceived brand quality, strong
mental and emotional associations and other assets such as patents, trade marks and
channel relationships.

Customers will pay more for a strong brand. Brand Equity is an asset and defined as the
positive differential effect that knowing the brand name has on customer response to the
product or service. Brand Equity results in customer showing a preference for a product over
another when they are basically identical. The extent to which the customers are willing to pay
more for the particular brand is a measure of BRAND EQUIY.

High Brand Equity Provides a Number of Competitive Advantages:

• The company will have more trade leverage in bargaining with distributors and
retailers because customers expect them to carry brands.
• The company can charge higher price than its competitors because the brand has
higher perceived quality.
• The company can more easily launch Brand –extensions because the brand name
carries high credibility
• He brand offers the company some defense against price competition.

Managing Brand Equity

A brand needs to be carefully managed so that its equity does not depreciate. This
requires maintaining or improving brand awareness, perceived quality & functionality
and positive associations. These require continuous R & D investment, skillful
advertising and excellent trade and consumer service. Well managed brands are not
subject to brand cycle. Many brand leaders of 70 years ago are still today’s brand
leaders; Kodak, Coke, Gillette, Lux, Lifebuoy etc.

Some analysts see brands as outlasting a company’s specific products and facilities.
They see brands as the company’s enduring assets. Every powerful brand really
represents a set of loyal customers. Brand Equity is a major contributor to customer
equity. The proper focus of marketing planning is to extend ‘Customer Lifetime
Value’ with brand management serving as major marketing tool.

Branding Decision
Branding undoubtedly involves costs never-the-less branding gives seller several
1. The brand name makes it easier for seller to process orders and track down
2. The seller’s brand name and trademark provide legal protection of unique
product features.
3. Branding gives seller the opportunity to attract a loyal and profitable set of
customers. Brand Loyalty gives seller some protection from competition.
4. Branding helps the seller segment markets. For example, instead of P&G selling a
simple detergent it can offer eight detergent brands, each formulated differently
and aimed at specific benefit-seeking segments.
5. Strong brands help build the Corporate Image, making it easier to launch new
brands and gain acceptance.
Distributors and retailers want brand names because brands make the product easier to
handle, hold production to certain quality standards, strengthen buyer preferences and
make it easier to identify suppliers. Consumers want brand names to help them identify
quality differences and shop more efficiently.