What is Branding?

What is the main difference between a product and a brand?

A brand is the product which radiates personality and values and has faithful consumers who become its best ambassador.

A product transforms into a brand through a procedure, which is called branding.

Officially, branding is defined as the procedure which creates a unique name and image for the product in consumer’s mind. Unofficially, we would rather say that branding has as its main target to create a unique feeling for the product in consumer’s heart.

Brand is the promise given to the consumer, a promise so strong, that draws instantly consumers’ s attention. It declares its personality, its beliefs, its benefits according to the consumer’s life. For developing a really all-time relationship with the consumer, this promise should never but never be broken, in any point of the procedure.

But, let’ s go back in time, when the need for branding first emerged.

Since about 1890, in the beginning of railway, new possibilities showed up for product’s distribution. By this evolution, a new consumer society was created. At that time though, each product was totally unique and phenomenal and each logo functioned more like a quality guarantee than a corporate identity. Back then, if somebody wanted to win the competition, he should just have marketed a new better product than the others. After World War II, we could say that there was a boom in consumer’s choice and that more or less all products looked almost alike, especially concerning products of the same category. At that time, the product’s quality was not enough anymore, because most of the products guaranteed of high quality. Each product had to acquire something extra beyond its obvious benefits for standing out on competition. It had to adopt an air of personality, represent values, show charm. It had to be able to challenge for attention, faith, even love!

How, they thought then, that could be possible? Right then, branding was born.

Let’ s say that there is a product that has the ambition of becoming a brand. This is the beginning of a procedure that looks alike self – discovery. A procedure that may become uneasy and awkward. First of all, it has to acquire its own identity. It has to find its name, by which it will become known, and its logo by which it will impress and become easily recognized by the consumer. It has to get “dressed” by the appropriate package and find its own voice of communication when connecting with the audience. It has to discover its own style, to know its own power, to keep its promises, to offer always the best and never stop becoming better and better to the advantage of each consumer, to the general benefit of the whole planet.

So now, what would be our proposals to a company with a product born-to- be a brand?

Recognize your product. What it is, what it stands for, what it wanna be, how it differentiates than others, to which audience is addressed. Get to know well your audience’ s habits, needs and desires. Get to know all these data really well. After a thorough research and a lot of creative proposals, end up to a really strong logo, suitable for your philosophy and make it visible to as many places as possible as frequently as you can. Bring forth pivotal values that will be reflected on every word, image, service connected with your product, values which will inspire and identify with each one of your consumer audience.

Don’ t forget. The values of your product should be in total alignment with those of your company. Whatever your product represents should be reflected on every detail about your company’s attitude and function. From your service client, to the working environment or your ways of co-operation with partners and suppliers etc. When a brand represents respect about human being, then it cannot come from a company that does not show respect to its own employees.

In the same way, every employee and every partner should believe in the same values and behave according to them. The promise of the brand should remain the same in every procedure, in all details.
Keep a consistent and steady attitude. Promise only what you can offer now and in the future, for a really trustworthy brand.

Build loving relationship with your audience. Interact with it. Change even the core of his life, if you can, through your Corporate Social Responsibility’ s policies and activities. Ask your audience to join you in your attempt to create a better world, a better environment for everyone.

Take advantage of the magnificent power that technology gives you in order to create an everyday way of communication through website and social media with the global “community” of your brand.

Identify your product with a feeling of trust. Depending on your product’ s promise, identify it with a special feeling of reliability or adrenaline or pleasure or… you know better what your promise is. Make your product an everyday habit into your consumer’s life. If it is a brand of luxury, allure people to dream of it, as a worthwhile fantasy that can be reality if they try more.

Brand means easier sales, better co-operations, more faithful consumers. A vivid experience from A-Z of branding, that never stops evolving to its own advantage, to the consumer’ s advantage, to the environments’ s advantage.

So now we may recall our primary question:

What is the main difference between a product and a brand?

A product, even if it stands for great quality, gains more sales.

A brand, besides better sales, gains trust and true love.