Branding, doctor as in the marking of livestock by means of a burning iron, has been practiced for at least 5,000 years. “Brands” and “branding” are all the buzz today, particularly in North America and the corporate world run by MBA graduates. Brands have been variously defined as “an indelible impression,” “a gut feeling or understanding about a product, service, or company,” and “a user promise,” to list but a few – they typically involve symbolic attributes, and as such, they are also vulnerable to fashion.
Many consultants swear by brands and brand management – others swear at the word, seeing it as the latest term de jour of the marketing world and a “shallow hyper-moniker” that overstates its promise (perhaps to compensate for the surface traits the word brings to mind). The foundation of a brand is a trust relationship, reinforced when positive experience consistently meets or exceeds expectations. Brands can also act as ‘noms de guerre’ or ‘pseudonyms’ for less recognizable corporate origins, though in most cases brands imply a product-based relationship.
In an increasingly virtual world, “brand equity” can grow to become one of an organization’s greatest assets, often providing the best return on investment – Coca-Cola’s brand value alone has been pegged at USD $70 billion, representing more than 60 percent of the giant corporation’s market capitalization.
Brand..is it a myth or a living ‘monster’?