Branding is a complex process. It is the creation and development of a specific identity for a company, product, commodity, group, or person. Branding is the process by which a brand comes to be. A brand is many, many things, but it is never an accident. Branding strategies fall into three categories: 1) Advertising, 2) Marketing, and 3) Public Relations.
Advertising is a wonderful thing to create a unique, user-friendly brand that the consumer is sure to embrace. However, if the public doesn't find out about the brand and much of the public will find out through advertising all that effort, time, and money will go to waste. The look and attitude of the advertising also help define the brand in the consumer’s mind. Marketing is a tool in devising the personality of the brand and determining how it will be presented to the consumer, marketing, which is usually done in-house and through consultants, helps to create the entity that the brand will become. Marketing is not just selling; it knows what to sell and how to sell it as part of a larger plan.
Public relations are as if advertising is the juggernaut of public attention, public relations is the stealth bomber. PR generates publicity for the brand, helps solidify the public’s opinion of the brand, and defines the brand all without being perceived by the public. Without public relations, it would be impossible to create a truly world-class brand, no matter what the budget or how exciting the product.
Branding is not just taking the name of a successful product and slapping it on the box of a new product to “expand the brand.” Diversification is only possible when so much goodwill and trust have been established with the consuming public that the name will be followed wherever it goes. And even then, the product must deliver what it promises, or the brand name itself will be diminished, not enhanced. Branding as a concept doesn’t really understand what it means to create a brand and build it into a dominant market position. Branding is not simply a matter of creating the name for a company or a product and repeating it ad nauseam to the public until it becomes a household word. There have been plenty of brand names that have come and gone in what amounts to the blink of an eye and advertising and marketing executives who have come and gone just as quickly, who can attest to that truth.
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