Characteristics of a Good Brand, Branding Decisions and Brand Repositioning

A good brand should possess as many of the following characteristics as possible. It’s hard to find a brand that has all of them. A brand should:

Suggest something about the product’s characteristics, benefits, use, or action. Some names suggest desirable benefits like cold spots, craftsmen (tools), etc. 

Product use and action are suggested by minute rice, Thermo pane, spic and span, etc.

Be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember, simple, short, one-syllable names such as Omo, Mobil, Total, Toyota, Shell, etc. Are helpful.

Be distinctive. Brands with names like national, star, ideal, or standard fail on this point. Be adaptable to new products added to the product line.

Be capable of being registered and legally protected under the Acts or other statutory laws.

Read Also: Conditions for Effective Market Segmentation and Bases for Segmenting Consumer Markets


Branding Decisions

Having an appropriate brand has emerged as the most adamant activity in the marketing of products, especially consumer products. Decisions need to be taken, though not simultaneously, with regard to brand selection and its use.

Whether to brand a product or not is a decision that can be taken only after considering the nature of the product, the type of outlets envisaged for the product, the perceived advantages of branding, and the estimated costs of developing the brand.

In addition, marketers will have to decide at the outset whether to adopt a family brand under which products would be sold or to brand each product separately. 

For instance, companies like GE or Philips follow the family name strategy while GM follows the individual brand strategy.

These are the advantages of either approach:

Family Brand

It reduces the costs of product launching and ongoing promotional expenditure substantially. The firm has to promote only one brand, which if successful would be able to sell the entire product line. 

Lining up the distribution channel members also becomes comparatively simple. A family brand name has been found to be very cost-effective in tyre marketing.

If one product does exceptionally well, it is perfectly possible that there would be positive fallouts for other products being marketed under the same brand.

A major weakness of this strategy is that it does not recognize that each product can be given a specific identity by a suitable brand which can go a long way to make it successful.

Read Also: Market Segmentation and its Benefits

Individual Brand

If there is a product failure, its damaging effect will be limited to that particular product and will not extend to the entire product line. Individual brand strategy can immensely influence decisions.

The main disadvantage lies in the economics of developing an individual brand. It is obviously a costlier strategy than the family brand.

The other disadvantage is that the brand does get any benefit from the firm’s reputation.

Brand Repositioning

Over the life cycle of a product, several market parameters might undergo a change such as the introduction of a competing product, shifts in consumer preferences, identification of new needs, etc. 

All and each of such changes call for a re-look as to whether the original positioning of the product is still optimal or not. Stagnating or declining sales also point to a need for a reassessment of the original product positioning.

A classic story of successful brand repositioning is the Seven-up campaign. Seven-up was one of several soft drinks bought primarily by older people who wanted a brand, lemon flavor drink. 

Research indicated that while a majority of soft drink consumers preferred cola, they did not prefer it all the time and many other consumers were non-cola drinkers.

Seven-up went up for leadership in the non-cola market by executing a brilliant campaign, calling itself the Uncola. 

Seven-up created a new way for consumers to view the soft market, consisting of colas and uncolas, with seven-up leading the uncolas. 

It thus repositioned seven-up as an alternative to the traditional soft drink, not just another soft drink. Another exciting story of brand repositioning is Pepsi Cola’s campaign to reincarnate its flagging 30- year old Mountain Dew brand.

In conclusion, brand management is one of the most crucial areas of marketing, especially with reference to consumer products. The name gives the product a unique personality and is so well associated with the product that the brand name sometimes even takes the place of the generic product name. 

Surf and Omo are two classic examples where the brand names connote the generic product category. The selection of a brand name is an important decision. 

You can choose any brand name you like as long as it is unique, easy to read, write and pronounce and remember, and doesn’t have any unfavorable meanings associated with it.

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