Branding is a simple yet easily misconstrued concept because it is often times mistaken for the product. A brand is not the same thing as a product because while a product can be copied by others, a brand is unique. This is what distinguishes Pepsi and Coca-Cola. This is why some people feel more connected to Coca-Cola, others to Pepsi. Succinctly put, your brand is who you are, what you do and the need you satisfy. From your choice of colour, language, communication style, team and services; down to the finest details everything communicates your identity.
According to the American Marketing Association a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. You can consider a brand as the idea or image people have in mind when thinking about specific products, services and activities of a company, both in a practical (e.g. “the car is super-fast”) and emotional way (e.g. “the car makes me feel powerful”). It is therefore not just the physical features that create a brand but also the feelings evokes in consumers. This combination of physical and emotional cues is triggered when exposed to the name, the logo, the visual identity, or even the message communicated.
Thus, your brand cannot survive if it fails to satisfy both physical and emotional needs. Brands like Milo, Bournvita, Omo detergent, St. Louis sugar, Coca Cola, Star beer, Eva water, MTN, Peak milk, Mercedes Benz etc. are still in existence because they have been able to maintain the quality of their products and also device new strategies to maintain their consumer’s emotional satisfaction. But keeping in mind that other brands are constantly competing for your consumer’s attention, you have deploy strategies to combat this.
This is the fierce battle every brand must fight in order to thrive. Every day, brands make their way into the market, but each have to go the extra mile to earn its stay.