Imagine if there was no coke or pepsi? There was just cola. How would 2 of the biggest brands on earth survive? Thus branding has gained importance in the past several years. Brands are a means of differentiating a company’s products and services from that of its competitors. The product might be same, but customers may pay more for a more established brand with a better promise than a brand which they have not heard of.
As Mcdonalds says – It is not factories which make profits, its the company as a whole which includes a brand as well as the relationship which the brand has with the customer.
Thus it is increasingly becoming important for businesses to invest in and sustain brand equity. The failing brands have to make do with lower profits and higher competition. Example – Virgin, Uninor in the telecom market.
A complete definition of brand says it all. A brand is “A name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these, that is intended to identify the goods and services of one business or group of businesses and to differentiate them from those of competitors”.
Thus, the next time someone asks you to differentiate between a brand and product, simply say that a brand is the way in which customers associate themselves with the product, the way they identify the product and several time the biggest influence which makes them buy the product.