A brand is an asset of which value is measured by the percentage contribution to total profit. An organisation owning or representing brands is likely to enjoy many advantages through having them. The path for success in launching and building brands lies in adhering to values and delivering the promise which customers expect from the product or service. Essentially, it is a case of deeds not words in offering a good quality product, packaged in a way in which its market segment relates to it.
The payback for the time and investment needed to build a brand will be that of creating demand for the product or service. When brands attain popularity, they facilitate penetration in the market as well as the work of sales people. They are also more likely to benefit from effective marketing initiatives, promotion and communication and give the organization better negotiating power. One example is that of increased chances of enjoying prominence, for example when displayed in retail outlets in the case of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs). On a corporate level, strong brands earn companies a healthy turnover, they contribute to a good corporate identity, as well as to increasing equity and goodwill. These are only a few benefits which a product or service with a strong brand name can bring to an organisation – enough to consider building brands as an important business objective.
Extending further than satisfying the needs and wants of customers, a brand can become a part of society and culture. For example, Guinness has established itself as part of Ireland’s lifestyle, and is one of the main icons representing the culture of the country. In Malta, Cisk and Kinnie are two products which contribute to national pride. Very often they offer a sense of patriotism to the Maltese people when introducing these two products to tourists, foreign relatives and friends. In the case of Switzerland, known to be a wealthy country, prestigious brands of watches contribute to the status of their country with precision. Strong brands such as those of famous fashion houses, fragrances and jewelry can have an influence on trends and lifestyle. Even Pokémon Go clearly influenced trends and people’s lifestyle.
The marketing skills required to build a brand lie in obtaining a deep knowledge, understanding and a good relationship with current and potential customers. Identifying the needs, wants and consumer behavior patterns are key ingredients which fuel the inspiration for ideas, as well as the development of new products and services. The next bold task of the marketer is to give the product or service a name, identity, a place in the market and to create customer engagement and affinity with the product. This leads to the creation of demand and products used as status symbols.
Effective brand building is the result of good marketing planning, implementation skills and creativity; knowing how this is all communicated, getting the target audience to relate to the message and being successful in coming across as planned.