The most distinctive skill of professional marketers in their ability to create, maintain, protect and enhance brands. Branding is the art and cornerstone of marketing. Branding is the process of finding and fixing the means of identification. It facilitates advertising and price control. Branded goods command a wide market. Branding is a marketing practice that a company exhibits in creating its name, symbol or logo and overall design that is ready.
The marketing mix is a combination of four elements – Product, Pricing, the distribution system and promotional activities that are used to achieve objectives of strategic marketing plans.
Branding plays an important role in the formulation marketing mix for the company in the following ways:
Branding is the easiest way of identifying a product or a service that a customer lies. Whenever a product is distinguishable by means of a brand, the consumer has an assurance of quality, consistency and define value. It is so, because a brand stands for product quality, standard and value. A brands product is a quality product with the right value for the money spent on it.
2. It is a Promotional Tool
Sales promotion is founded on the basic idea of product identification or product differentiation. Most firms prefer to complete on a non-price brand. This difference is brought about by brand major weapon for product popularization is advertising but it is futile without a brand name. Thus branding plays an increasingly creative role.
3. Helpful in Distribution
If a product winds consumer reputation, the manufacturer gains control over production, distribution and distribution network. Identity in the market place ensures that customers will demand the product from distributors. This enables a powerful bargaining position with suppliers and distributors. The class of middlemen goes in for a successful product that is enjoying a successful brand name.
4. Ensure Price Stability
Brand reputation ensures market control as repeat sales become more likely. Branded products have more price stability and price stability enhances the product image.
A really very popular brand commands universal respect demand. such branded products can be priced at a higher rate as consumers are ready to buy than even at a premium price because of a brand is quality, value, and status.
Formulation of Market Strategy :
Branding helps in the formulation of the marketing strategy for a firm in the following ways:
1. Market Segmentation
Branding helps segmentation of the market on the basis of the benefit sought and provided to the consumers. For example, Videocon has a name in the electronic industry in providing value for money for the economy class. In 1995, it introduced the Bazooka version of T.V. for the middle-class segment of the consumers.
2. Facilitates Product Line Expansion
A well-known brand name can be an advantage for the firm expanding its product line. It will facilitate consumers’ acceptance of the new product because of its existing brand reputation. For instance, when Philips India has introduced domestic grinder mixer, consumers would generalize that this new product would be similar in quality to other Philip products. This enhances the adoption process.
3. Offer Legal Protection
A brand also offers firm legal protection for unique features or acts of the product. The brand name can be protected through registration trademark. This ensures that the firm can safely invest in the brand name and reap the benefit of the valuable asset.
4. Secure a Competitive Advantage
Brand Loyalty provides predictability and security of demand for the firm and creates barriers to entry that make it difficult for other firms to enter the market. Although competitors may easily duplicate manufacturing processes designs, they cannot easily much match lasting impressions in the minds of individuals and organizations from years of marketing activity and product experience. In this sense, branding can be seen as a powerful means to secure a competitive advantage.