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A brand is a collection of images and ideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to the concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, product or service. A brand serves to create associations and expectations among products made by a producer. A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, sound which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.

Concepts

Some marketers distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.

Marketers engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand image may be developed by attributing a "personality" to or associating an "image" with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is "branded" into the consciousness of consumers. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. This approach works not only for consumer goods B2C (Business-to-Consumer), but also for B2B (Business-to-Business), see Philip Kotler & Waldemar Pfoertsch.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. Where brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for go.com.

Brand equity measures the total value of the brand to the brand owner, and reflects the extent of brand franchise. The term brand name is often used interchangeably with "brand", although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of a brand. In this context a "brand name" constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration.

Brand energy is a concept that links together the ideas that the brand is experiential, that it is not just about the experiences of customers/potential customers but all stakeholders and the idea that businesses are essentially more about creating value through creating meaningful experiences than generating profit. Economic value comes from businesses? transactions between people whether they be with customers, employees, suppliers or other stakeholders. But for such value to be created people first have to have positive associations with the business and/or its products and services and be energised to behave positively towards them ? hence brand energy.

It has been defined as: The energy that flows throughout the system that links businesses and all their stakeholders and which is manifested in the way these stakeholders think, feel and behave towards the business and its products or services.
The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer clothes. In non-commercial contexts, the marketing of entities which supply ideas or promises rather than product and services (e.g. political parties or religious organizations) may also be known as "branding".

Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic. From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.

History

Brands in the field of marketing originated in the 19th century with the advent of packaged goods. Industrialization moved the production of many household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. When shipping their items, the factories would literally brand their logo or insignia on the barrels used, which is where the term comes from.

These factories, generating mass-produced goods, needed to sell their products to a wider market, to a customer base familiar only with local goods. It quickly became apparent that a generic package of soap had difficulty competing with familiar, local products. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince the market that the public could place just as much trust in the non-local product. Campbell soup, Coca-Cola, Juicy Fruit gum, Aunt Jemima, and Quaker Oats were among the first products to be 'branded', in an effort to increase the consumer's familiarity with their products. Many brands of that era, such as Uncle Ben's rice and Kellogg's breakfast cereal furnish illustrations of the problem.

Around 1900, James Walter Thompson published a house ad explaining trademark advertising. This was an early commercial explanation of what we now know as branding. Companies soon adopted slogans, mascots, and jingles which began to appear on radio and early television. By the 1940s,{Mildred Pierce1} manufacturers began to recognize the way in which consumers were developing relationships with their brands in a social/psychological/anthropological sense.

From there, manufacturers quickly learned to associate other kinds of brand values, such as youthfulness, fun or luxury, with their products. This began the practice we now know as branding, where it is felt that consumers buy the brand instead of the product. This trend continued to the 1980s, which have been described as "brand equity mania". In 1988, Phillip Morris purchased Kraft for six times what the company was worth on paper; it was felt that what they really purchased was its brand name.

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This is an extract from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia



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