This is a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of the terms intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. Basically, it is a company’s asset.
The brand identifies the seller/maker. It can be a name, trademark, logo or symbol. The sales of this branded product are granted exclusive rights on how the product will be used and thus the degree of competition is very low thus few firms remain in market i.e. one or two firms selling the branded product. Counterfeiters are therefore knocked out.
It usually adds to the product in a bottle of soda with the name coca cola is perceived to be of high quality than one in un-marked bottle which is said to be of low value. It also helps consumers in identifying products that might benefit them. Branding also says something on the product quality and consistency i.e. same features, benefits and quality each time they buy.
It usually gives sellers several advantages(one spends less on marketing). it also offers legal protection for unique product features that otherwise might be copied by competitors.ie Toyota can offer majors such as Lexus; Toyota and Scion brands each with numerous sub-brands e.g. Camry; Pries; Matrix; Yaris; Tundra and land cruiser.
Value/Importance of Branding For Customer and Marketers
- Brands facilitate purchasing – brands are often easily recognized by consumers and because they signify a certain quality level and contain familiar attributes, and also assists consumers make quick decisions e.g. Honda in terms of level of quality, engineering, relative status and generally the cost. Without branding, how could we easily tell the difference between a Honda and Toyota without looking very closely?.
- Brands establish loyalty – overtime and with continued use, consumers learn to trust certain brands.
- Brands protects products from general competition and price competition – strong brands are somewhat protected from this as the brands are more established in market and have a more loyal customer base, neither competitive pressure on price nor retail-level competition is as threatening to the firm.
- Brands reduce marketing costs – firms with well-known brands can spend relatively less on marketing costs than firms with little known brands because the brand sells itself. People have become familiar with some logos of companies so advertisements don’t need to explain who the company or what it does .people just know.
- Brands are assets. Brands are also assets that can be legally protected through trademarks and copy rights and thus constitutes a unique ownership for the firm. This is to ensure that the value of their brands is not diluted with counterfeit merchandise or sales through unauthorized dealers.
- Brands impact market value – having well known brands can have a direct impact on company’s bottom line.
This involves designing and producing the container/wrapper for a product. It has shifted from attracting attention to describing the product, to making the sale. Companies are realizing the power of good packaging to create immediate consumer recognition of a brand. Today, a competitive world, the package may be the sellers best and last chance to influence the buyers. Poorly designed packages can cause headaches for consumers and lost sales for the company. Sometimes even seemingly small packaging improvements can make a big difference.
In recent years, product safety has also become a major packaging concern. We have all learned to deal with hard-to open “child-proof packaging”. The company also must heed to growing environmental concerns i.e. go “green” by reducing their packaging and using environmentally responsible packaging materials.
This usually ranges from simple tags attached to products to complex graphics that are part of the package. It helps or identifies product /brand. Helps in describing the product i.e. who made it and where it was made; its contents;
How it is to be used and how to use it safely it promotes the brand, support its positioning and connect with customers.
E.g. Pepsi; recreated graphics on its soft drink to give the brand a more meaning and social relevance to its youth audience
Functions of Packaging and Labeling
- Physical protection against damage, spoilage and pilferage-this is because products typically pass through several stages of handling between manufacturing and customer purchases and a package must protect its contents from damage.
- Assists in marketing the product as packaging nowadays have been use as a promotional tool.
- Cost effectiveness – although packaging must perform a number of functions for the producer, marketers and consumers must do it at a reasonable cost. Sometimes changes in packaging can make packages both cheaper and better for the environment. A good example is given of compact disk manufacturers who once packaged music codes in two containers, a disc-sized plastic box inside a long cardboard that fit into the record bins in stores. Consumers protested against waste of long boxes and the recording industry and finally agreed to eliminate the cardboard outer packaging altogether.
- Portion control – single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage e.g.
- Salt is in suitable size for individual households.
- Aids control of inventory i.e. selling sealed one litre bottle of milk rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.
- Convinience: Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, reuse, recycling and ease of disposal.
- Security: this is the important role played by packaging in reducing security risks of shipment; packages can be made with important tamper resistance to deter tampering and can also have tamper evident features to indicate tamper.
- Information transmission: Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, Foods, medical and chemical products, some type of information are required by government. Some packages and labels are used for track and trace purposes.
- Containment or agglomeration: Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency e.g. a single box of 1000 pencils requires less physical handling than 1000 single pencils. Liquids, powders and granular materials need containment.
- Barrier protection: This is mainly from oxygen, water vapour, dust. Some packages contain desiccants/oxygen absorbers to extend shelf life.
This usually ranges from;
- Performance level.
- Consistency i.e. freedom from defects and deliver the targeted level of performance.
- Development-TQM model is used.
- Features should be differentiated.
- The style i.e. appearance should have no effect on performance.