What it is possible to call a real brand?
Most often are the company (a corporate brand) and/or goods (a commodity brand), and in any area. Both the whole region (Estonia brand), and cultural institution (Hermitage) or sports club, for example, football club “Zenit“ can be a brand. The person - the famous singer, the professional athlete, the actor or the writer can be a brand also.
But most often is told about corporate and commodity brands.
The brand can be known in one region, over all country, in several countries or worldwide. Coca - Cola, Microsoft, Kodak, Sony, etc. are examples of global brands. It is obvious that these trademarks passed a long and difficult way to the world popularity. In the Russian scale Beeline, Baltic, Korkunov are most known. In the St. Petersburg market - Stepan Razin, Pyaterochka.
Brands have the life cycle: they are born, develop, live and die. One to remain for ever, others can quit the stage in several years.
History of formation of brands different. It is clear, that no company and any goods becomes a brand suddenly. For this purpose, as a rule, goods or firm have to pass rather long and not always a direct way. How many years can leave on it? Differently. The Microsoft firm (in the world market), “The Yaroslavl paints“ (in the Russian market) or 585 in the St. Petersburg market can be an example of a brand with short history of formation.
Many international brands began the life with modest products of local value. Levi`s jeans can be a classical example. They were created in a century before last by the immigrant - the Austrian of Levi Strauss as convenient trousers for workers. And that success that the destiny prepared it for an idea, then to it could unless to dream.
If the firm itself is the known brand or if it owns the famous commodity brand, then its reputation can exceed purely book value several times. Big money pays also for a separate strong commodity brand. Wishing to enter the new market, major companies often buy ready brands. In the world various techniques of estimation of cost of a brand and entry into the market where there are already strong brands are developed.
In 1988 the Philip Morris company bought the Kraft Jakobs company. The cost of material assets of Kraft Jakobs was estimated by experts at $4 billion. But owners of Philip Morris had to fork up on the whole $12,5 billion. More than two thirds of the total amount of the transaction costed acquisition of the rights for brands which were owned by Kraft Jakobs!
This history considerably changed the relation of businessmen to advance of goods and services. They were personally convinced that existence of the untwisted trademarks can increase really the cost of the company several times.
The strong brand not only increases the cost of the company, it allows it to get additional profit daily:
- in - the first, at the expense of higher value added of popular goods;
- in - the second, due to increase in number of buyers.
That is the brand is an independent value which scale can be determined both by the additional guaranteed profit of the company, and the additional guaranteed economy of its expenses.
Buyers of a brand can be presented in the form of two groups: adherents only of this brand and casual buyers (with other things being equal they react to brand “raskruchennost“). Owners of a brand have to work on expanding both of these contingents of clients that demands additional essential investments constantly.
But what the brand is more known for, that smaller, in comparison with competitors, expenses on advertizing are spent by the owner of a brand. Besides, shops accept the branded production more willingly, hoping to earn from it more. All this in total provides to the owner of a strong brand more financial benefits in comparison with owners of unknown brands.
For an assessment of brands marketing specialists use the tested quantitative and qualitative characteristics which help to trace dynamics of development of a brand and “to operate“ it. The main of them are:
Commitment to a brand. Degree of commitment to a brand is defined by the number of buyers who prefer this brand to others. The more this characteristic, the is more valuable a brand. Most of loyal buyers do not even think of whether and the best product disappears under the brand chosen by them.
the Expected quality. the brand distinguishes From usual goods that the settled associations are connected with it. From all associations the expected quality is the most important: the buyer expects certain positive characteristics from this brand in advance. This expectation helps the buyer to choose from a set of goods, especially when on the place of sale it is impossible to estimate quality of goods. It is so convenient to the buyer.
Any Japanese brand in the opinion of the Russian consumer is associated with high quality of production unlike the Chinese analogs.
Researches show that expected quality stands behind financial success of a brand. The main marketing efforts are directed to creation and strengthening of the positive expected quality. However it is possible to expect something only from the famous name. From here importance of other parameter of a brand - awareness of the client on a brand results.
Degree of awareness of buyers on a brand is the brand indicator, the second for value. Determine by it ability of the potential buyer to recognize or remember this brand and its commodity category. The awareness is also important parameter because by results of researches familiar brands use preference, even when the buyer cannot coordinate any qualities to this brand. It is especially shown upon purchase of inexpensive consumer goods. The buyer, sometimes without noticing it, chooses those goods about which he has most of all heard a lot on the shelf.
Image of a brand. Associations of a brand include its image. It is created and supported, sometimes artificially. The main PR - technologies are directed to maintenance of this characteristic of a brand.
Attributes of a brand - all that distinguishes a brand from similar goods.
The company name and/or goods is the main sign of a brand, base for recognition. The name is extremely important, and it is necessary to belong to its selection very seriously.
Symbols . Symbols (trademarks, logos, special bottles or boxes, the characters advertizing goods, and others) are very important for a memorability of a brand, creation and fixing of associations. Creation of symbols and “management“ of them has to be a task of marketing specialists, psychologists and designers.
Slogans . Successfully thought up and ottestirovanny slogan can allocate, at least, goods and make it more remembered. The empty slogan does not give to a brand anything, and sometimes even harms.
Price . In Russia the opinion took roots that the low price, the is higher competitiveness of goods. But already now there was a significant amount of consumers with active living position who watch over the health as perceive the high price as so quality pledge. It is especially fair for the goods which are not possessing “visible indicators of quality“.
Many owners of the small Russian companies are convinced that branding is a pleasure for the rich. But practice speaks about another. Creation of a brand - one of the main resources which needs to be used in competitive fight. If the small companies do not create unique “face“ for the goods, then over time the large companies will just swallow them.
It is clear, that financial opportunities at small firms are limited. But all great brands began with small. Let`s remember, for example, that King Kemp Zhilet within eight years could not “attach“ the invention - the safety razor. At the same time the price of a question made $5000. And when production nevertheless was started, in the first year of work of plant only 51 safety razors and 168 packings of edges were sold! But two years later 250 000 machines and 100 000 packings of edges were realized already. At the moment the company sells about 900 names of goods under the name of Gillette in 200 countries of the world and is the absolute leader in the branch.