What is Brand? A Step-by-step Beginner Marketers Guide

A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed. While a brand name is the name of the distinctive product, service, or concept.

Branding, on the other hand, is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name. Whereby, it can be applied to the entire corporate identity as well as to individual product and service names. Simply put, a brand is a way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it.

Brand Meaning

It’s more than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes. Brands, then, live in the minds of everyone who experiences them. May it be employees, investors, the media, and, perhaps most importantly, customers. In other words, brands are perceptions.

What is Brand?

Important to realize, every business operation requires to undergo a Trademark Registration Process in order to safeguard and protect all that is theirs. For instance, as a brief explanation, one needs to register their company name, brand name, or intellectual property for a trademark.

Simply, because if not, there is a huge possibility that someone else will do so and you will lose the right to use it. As an example, do you have that mark, that word, that sign or brand that you identify with? Well, until you register it, it is not yours and you have no exclusive claim to it.

A trademark is a mark or sign that distinguishes the goods of one entity from another. And basically, the trademark registration may consist of one or more distinctive words, letters, numbers, drawings, pictures, signatures, colors, or a combination of all these.

Equally important, a Service Mark is a sign which serves to distinguish the services of one entity from another. It may consist of the same characteristics as those of a Trade Mark. Learn more about the main Steps followed during a Trademark Registration Process.

What is the Meaning of Brand Protection? 

In simple terms, trademarks are legal protections that prevent others from reproducing or using identifying features of your brand. Such as your company name or logo – without your permission. This even extends to the use of names or logos that could be easily confused with yours.

All brand elements are trademarked as soon as they’re in use. Furthermore, if you design a logo and put it on your website, it’s technically illegal for someone else to copy it. However, it’s wise to formally register your trademarks. If you don’t, it can be more difficult to take action against anyone who tries to steal your branding.

Brand Trademark Registration Benefits

Generally speaking, the consequences of choosing not to register a trademark for your company name or logo can be severe. Someone may imitate your brand to sell customers low-quality versions of your products.

In the event that the trademark examiners allow a trademark that is closely related to yours, you have the right to oppose it before it’s officially registered.

How is Brand an Important asset?

First, despite their intangible nature, brands are business tools that drive commercial value. Think of a brand! Any brand like Apple, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Dunkin’ Donuts—doesn’t matter. I am a pretty big fan of Apple around here, so I’ll go with that. So, What is the Apple brand?

It isn’t computers and phones and other cool stuff I can’t live without. Those are the products Apple manufactures. And it isn’t slick TV ads or dramatically staged presentations or chicly minimalist storefronts. That’s all marketing and advertising. It’s admittedly pretty cool marketing and advertising, but still.

Surprisingly, even Apple’s name and logo don’t encompass what I mean when I talk about the Apple brand. And therefore, it turns out the Apple brand isn’t anything in the true sense of the word. You can’t hold it or hear it or even touch it. But that doesn’t mean its brand isn’t the single most valuable thing that Apple owns.

Read Also: Trademarks and Service Marks – What’s the Difference?

The Apple brand is the reason you literally couldn’t pay many Apple customers to use any other product. The forward-thinking, seamless experience of the Apple brand has become an inextricable part of the identities of a legion of devoted followers. For this reason, its brand is Apple’s ultimate competitive advantage. Nothing else even comes close.

Secondly, a strong brand increases the chances of customers choosing your product or service over your competitors. It attracts more customers, at a lower cost per acquisition, who are happy to pay a little more and will buy a little more often.

What are Examples of Brand Trademarks?

There are a couple of things that can be registered as a trademark. Not to mention, a trademark symbol can also be affiliated with other things as well. Such as a name, word, signature, letter, figure, drawing, title, tax stamp, seal, image, inscription, advertisement, pack, wrapper, packaging labels, tagline, or any other combination.

That is intended to be used for the same commercial purpose of a business to have its goods and services be identified in the industry. A trademark can be any distinctive marking, which can even include the shape and color of goods.

It is highly advisable that when registering a trademark, it should be distinctive to what the goods and services are being offered to the consumers. There is more ease in registering trademarks that are easily associated with the company’s goods and services. Besides, when trademarks are distinctive, it can be easily remembered by the consumers in the market.

What is Branding?

By definition, branding is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services.

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but, it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors. As well as clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice.

Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived. Inasmuch as branding is the act of shaping how a company, organization, or individual has perceived customer perceptions themselves don’t go out and buy iPhones.

But, they are critically important for one reason:

Perceptions dictate behavior

Even perceptions that we’re unaware of have the ability to profoundly affect how we act. Research in experimental social psychology has shown that while we might think we’re in total control of our actions, our behavior is often influenced by stimuli we’re completely unaware of.

In sum, how an individual perceives a brand (consciously or unconsciously) wholly determines how he or she will engage with that brand. The power of branding hinges a very important truth about perceptions:

Perceptions are Malleable

Branding has the power to shape our perceptions because those perceptions are susceptible to being shaped. They practically cry out for it.

Whether we know it or not, we are constantly searching for meaning and order in the world around us. Without it, we’re lost. We want our realities to make sense.

As far as our brains are concerned, there’s no practical difference between perception and reality. What we perceive is what is real to us. This is where the real power of branding lies. If branding can shape our perceptions, and our perceptions are our reality, it follows that:

Power to Shape reality

It might sound like hyperbole, but in a very real sense, it’s true. The power of branding to architect consumer reality is why companies like Apple spend millions of dollars on it every year.

When you effectively leverage the ability to architect reality, you’re able to sway consumers’ purchasing behavior in immeasurably valuable ways.

Everything you Should know about Branding

The concept of branding is a confusing topic that many seasoned marketers don’t even clearly understand. Eg. What is a brand? What is branding? It all seems like a simple question, but the answer is anything but simple.

If you’re confused by your brand, your customers will be confused, too. The last thing you want to do is waste time and money by developing a weak one. A strong branded image will help you establish an edge over your rivals and can open doors to new opportunities. For example, other lines can be bought in, branded and sold as your own products.

Brand Marketing

The key attributes of a brand will include a name, a symbol or a design (or a combination of the three); this branding identifies a product, service, person or organization as having a unique selling point. It can then be used across all marketing activities.

A successful brand invariably results in superior profit and marketing performance. A brand name can set a product or service apart and add significant value as a capital asset.

Before I write down the questions you always ask about Brand, please consider these aspects of Branding;

  • Click and see more about: The Brand Promise
  • See more about: The Brand Perceptions
  • Read more about: The Brand Expectations
  • See more about: The Brand Persona
  • Read more about: The Brand Elements

Here are my simple questions and answers;

1. Why do I need to Develop a Brand?

Strong branding helps to sell your message and benefits for you. As long as any new products and services you introduce are up to the standard of your existing offerings, it becomes a great deal easier to launch new branded lines.

In reality, the branding aspect is your ambassador and advocate. Attracting customers and reassuring them. At the same time, it will help to bring in a flow of new customers.

2. How much is my brand worth?

A company’s major asset may not be its premises or equipment, but its customer list and the quality of the relationships it has with those customers. Moreover, the brand is at the heart of reputation – attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Brand valuation is a major issue; successful brands are important company assets. Investing in a brand, to improve its image or positioning, may often yield better results than investing in other ways, like buying new equipment.

If you need to put a figure on the value of your brand, find a consultant like jmexclusives who is an expert in this field.

3. Do I need a Logo to Build a Brand?

A separate logo, as a distinct way of writing your company or product name, is not an essential requirement for a brand. Many well-known and profitable brands exist without logos.

Often they rely on their name to create the necessary impact rather than a graphic. However, the look of a brand name demands as much care and attention as a logo.

It’s worth using a designer to create a properly-conceived brand name identity, rather than just picking an attractive font.

4. What are the Advantages of Having a Brand?

A brand is a set of characteristics – or an identity – that is easily recognizable and which enhances the reputation of your products or services. Therefore, brands should embody the unique selling points of your product or service.

An accountant that is valuing your business could base some of the goodwill you have built up on your brand values. Not forgetting, brands aren’t just for big companies. They can make smaller businesses stand out from the crowd, particularly in competitive markets.

5. How can I Develop a Brand on a Small Budget?

Deciding on your values or what makes you special need not cost anything.

However, communicating your brand message and style will inevitably require a budget commitment.

The key areas you could budget for are:
  • The development of a strapline or mission statement that succinctly conveys your message.
  • Design needs, such as a website, a logo, business stationery, and product packaging.
  • Advertising and promotional materials that convey and support the brand promise.
  • Staff training to make sure your employees understand your brand values and business goals.

6. How far can I Stretch my Brand to Cover new Products or Services?

A branded name can be stretched to cover new products or services. But only if the same brand values are appropriate to the new additions.

Richard Branson may have pushed it to the extremes, stretching the same brand to span everything from airlines and trains to music and wine.

But until you have the market power that Virgin has, more modest ambitions should prevail.

7. How long Does it Take to Build a Brand?

Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not. Social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa.

Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them. Hence, helping them through the sales funnel.

It will probably take you years to build up widely-recognized brands. And the sooner you start the better.

Here are the first steps you need to take:
  1. Try to think of a memorable and meaningful trade name that sums up what you do, making sure that it does not conflict with any existing names in your field.
  2. List the brand attributes you want to convey.
  3. Commission an appropriate logo. When you have the right design, make sure it appears everywhere.
  4. Develop a corporate image and color scheme that can be used on your website, on stationery, vans, signs, staff clothing and adverts.
  5. Ensure that all your products and services are reliable, compatible and of a good standard. A single weak link will drag down the value of the brand.

The time it takes to build a brand is the time it takes your customers to accept your brand values. These may include the belief.

8. How do I build a Longlasting Brand Strategy

For example, your product or service will give better value or be more reliable than competing ones. They may also start to believe that they will be happier with your product or service than any others and that your product or service is the most suitable for people like them.

Clearly, these values are based on customers’ perceptions of your company and its authority and reputation in its particular field, combined with the particular benefits provided by your product.

Your customers’ good opinion will be based on substance; continuing to deliver on your promises will ensure that your brand is successful.

9. Will I need to Register my Brand Name as a Trademark?

As a matter of fact, a trademark registration process is not essential. But, it will help in any future dispute if your trademark is registered with the Trade Marks Registry (part of the Intellectual Property Office). Above all, you will need to check that no-one else has already registered the same mark or something very similar.

For instance, registration (renewable every ten years) costs roughly Ksh. 20000 for one class of goods with an additional Ksh.5000 for each extra class applied for. You should also allow for certain other costs for search and advisory work. Prices for all these are listed on the Intellectual Property Office website.

You might want to entrust this work to a trademark agent, who may also be a patent agent. Find a suitably qualified one from the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys or the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

Different countries and locations have different requirements and specifications on the same and it is always in order to make a reference before adopting any registration process. Also, seek consultation with a lawyer who is versant with the trademark business.

Summing Up,

As can be seen, before applying for a trademark or service mark, you need to establish that someone else hasn’t already obtained one for your name.

Although you can do the searching yourself, it is common to hire a law firm that specializes in doing trademark searches and managing the application process. Once you’ve learned that no one else is using it, you can begin to use your brand name.

In particular, as a trademark simply by stating it is a trademark (using the “TM” where it first appears in a publication or Web site). After you receive the trademark, you can use the registered symbol after your trademark.

Sometimes, corporations hire a market research firm(s) like jmexclusives to study public recognition of brand names. As well as attitudes toward the brands. With this in mind, send us your proposal to get our brand reputation and presence awareness management consultancy services.

Resources;

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and have understood some of the main benefits of trademarking your business.

Also, please don’t forget to have a look at the benefits of online digital marketing & even the best lead marketing generation tactics. But, if you’ll have additional contributions, suggestions or even questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

And by the same token, share your thoughts and insights in the comments box below this blog article.

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