The term“Brand” originated from the Old Norse word ‘brandr’ meaning “to burn.”  It refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products. The oldest generic brand still in use in India since the Vedic period (ca. 1100 B.C.E to 500 B.C.E), is ‘Chyawanprash’, an herbal paste used as a tonic.

A brand is a name, design, style, words or symbols used to set apart one product/service from a competitor in the eyes of the customer. A brand is the most important asset of the company and should accurately and faithfully represent the business. Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that facilitate to differentiate a company from competition and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.

What is a brand? What is branding? It seems like a simple question, but the answer is anything but simple. You need to understand your own brand. What does it stand for? Who is it meant for?

Brand is

  • A Promise – The brand promise not only includes tangible products and services but also the feelings that consumers get when they use your products and services. Several successful brands evoke strong feelings and convert consumers into raving fans by fulfilling the promise. An example of promise – Volvo promises safety
  • A Perception – Consumer perception of your brand is the only thing that matters. You need to create an identity that accurately reflects your brand. Consumers need to associate what you are selling with your brand e.g. Luxury – Rolex watches
  • A Persona – What is your brand’s personality? What kind of consumers it is serving? It is very important to understand the brand persona so that it can reach the appropriate consumer.

Brand Elements: Brands typically are made up of various elements, such as:

  • Name
  • Logo
  • Tagline or Catchphrase
  • Graphics
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Sounds
  • Tastes

Brand elements need to cohesively work together to consistently communicate your brand promise, determine brand perceptions, meet brand expectations, and define your brand persona. Successful brands effectively convey personality and essence of the message of the brand to their consumers.

A question to ask – What is your brand?