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Basics of Branding

Basics of Branding

Author: James Howard

Understand the basics aspects of branding.

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Hello and welcome to this tutorial on the Basics of Branding. Now as always with these tutorials, please feel free to fast forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to get the most out of the time that you're going to spend here. So let me ask you a question.

What is it that sets a brand apart? Why would that be important? How do we develop a brand so that we're recognizable?

Well during this lesson, what we're going to be talking about is the fact that hey, in case you haven't heard, branding is important. We're also going to be looking at product differentiation and substitute products. Lastly, we'll be looking at some branding strategies that are out there that we can use for our products.

The key terms for this lesson are going to be branding, product differentiation, substitute product, and trademark. So let's get started with branding.

Now, we're going to define branding as creating an individual name and perception for our product, company, or idea through marketing measures. Now, branding can be associated with trademark. And trademark includes elements such as name, colors, logos, symbols, tag line in packaging.

And simply defined, it provides exclusive legal use of branding, and all of its related elements. So no one else can use my particular color scheme or my logo. You can't have two products called Coca Cola because once trademarked, it gives Coke the exclusive rights to use that particular name.

Mercedes Benz would be another example. No one else can use this particular symbol on a car. It's a trademark. And it provides Mercedes Benz with exclusive legal use of that particular trademark.

So product differentiation. Now, we're going to define this a creating a perceived difference between a good or service in the mind of the cluster of customers that are the focus of the business or the organization. And you might remember that last part of the definition describing something we call the target market.

Now, product differentiation is important because it used to create brand loyalty with a particular brand or product. For instance, Apple or PC products. And the reason we want to do this and create brand loyalty through differentiation is to increase repeat business. If I'm a Mac person or if I'm apple, I don't want people going over and buying Samsung or Droid phones or PC computers because I want to make sure they come back and buy from my brand, which is Apple.

Harley Davidson is another great example. When you buy Harley Davidson, you're not buying just a motorcycle. You're becoming a part of a brand loyalty family. You're differentiated because of the image that Harley Davidson portrays. And if I'm sucked up into that image, I'm more likely to buy my next motorcycle from Harley Davidson as opposed to Honda or another motorcycle manufacturer.

Now, substitute products. Now, that's a product that a consumer would select in lieu of another product. Now, branding is important here because we don't want people substituting my product or substituting another product for the product that I'm selling.

I don't want people going over and buying that Honda. Or I don't want people to not buy my next Apple product, and go buy the next Android phone. Coffee is an example here, because we want to make sure that I keep selling my particular brand of coffees.

Starbucks versus Folgers, for instance. I want to make sure that they're buying my particular brand of coffee and not substituting it with another. Coca Cola is another good example here.

Coca Cola wants to make sure you keep buying their product. They're branding it in a particular way to create a differentiation between the product and something else. And to keep you from substituting things like Pepsi for Coke-- because you know it's the real thing, right?

So some branding strategy we want to look at-- companies have a choice in how they brand their products or their company. One is the individual branding, where I'm branding a particular type of product or particular individual product. We can also look at family branding, where I'm branding a family of products or my company as a whole. And I also look at brand extension.

Now an example of individual branding might be Coca Cola. Now, coke makes a lot of different beverages. They sell everything from water to juice to coke. But they brand each one individually.

Now, this can make big gains for the individual product. But of course, there's a lot of things to keep up with when we're branding in this way. I don't necessarily associate a particular brand of water with Coca Cola the company. I associate Coke with the company.

Now another example for family branding might be Sony. You see with Sony, I'm buying the brand name. I'm not buying necessarily the individual camera, or the camcorder, or the phone, or the PlayStation. I'm buying the Sony product or the Sony name.

And lastly with brand extension, we have for example, Clorox. Now Clorox is a simple bleach, but they've extended that brand name into other areas. For instance, cleaning products for your bathroom and your kitchen. I'm taking a brand that's already known and established, Clorox, and expanding into different markets-- taking that good name along with it.

So what did we learn during this lesson? Well, we learned that branding is important, right? Of course it is. We want to make sure that our brand is recognizable and that it says good things about us. We also want it to be recognized by name, color, logo. We want to make sure it sticks in the minds of our customers. We want to make sure we differentiated ourselves from other products.

How are we different? And how can we increase repeat sales by doing this? And decrease that substitute product sale? It's those people-- the competition, the evil competition, who wants to come in and take my business-- how do I keep my customers from going and buying something from another company?

And lastly, branding strategies-- individual branding, family branding, and branding extension into new areas with a particular brand name. As always, I want to thank you for spending some time with me today. I hope you had a good time. And I'll see you folks next time.

Terms to Know

Creating an individual name and perception for a product, company or idea through marketing measures.

Product differentiation

Creating a perceived difference between a good or service in the mind of the cluster of customers that are the focus of the business or organization.

Substitute product

A product that a consumer would select in lieu of another product.


Provides exclusive legal use of branding and all of its related elements.