Branding What Is a Brand? A brand

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What Is a Brand?

A brand consists of all the features that make up a product’s image. Marketers create a brand using a name, visual associations (such as a logo), and/or a slogan to assist consumers with identifying their company’s particular product or service.

Unbranded products are called commodities. Wheat, for example, is a commodity, because there is no way of identifying one farmer’s wheat from another’s once it has been sold to the wheat pool.
Brand Names

Brand names are either corporate or product. Corporate brand includes the name of the manufacturing company in the brand name or as the name of the product. Example: Roots

Marketers use product brand to try to connect a product with its positive attributes. Example: Zest soap can be associated with a zesty wake-up shower.

Product-dominant names are often made-up words designed to be associative.


A logo is the accepted generic term for all the symbolic ways to create a brand. These include trademarks, trade names, brand marks, logotypes, and corporate symbols. Logos take three different forms.

Monogrammatic logos are stylized writing of the company’s or product’s initials, or a combination of initials and numbers. Examples:

Visual symbols are the second form of logos. These are usually line drawings of people, animals, or objects. Example:

Abstract symbols are the third form of logos. These are shapes that carry a visual message but are not representative of identifiable objects. Example:


A slogan is a short, catchy phrase that is always attached to the company’s name and logo. Example: Harvey’s – “Harvey’s makes a hamburger a beautiful thing.”

Reach out and touch someone.”


Vorsprung durch technik.”


Ah, Bisto!”


The quicker picker-upper.”


A little dab'll do ya.”


Have it your way.”

Burger King

Where do you want to go today?”


It's Miller time!”


It's everywhere you want to be.”


Drivers wanted.”


Branding Strategies
Support for an Existing Brand

Brand strategies for a company’s existing products or services may require slight changes. The marketing department might redesign a package, try to communicate the value equation to a different target market, or change the advertising message.

Development of a Brand Extension

Often, a company will use one of its established brands to create a similar product that capitalizes on the older brand’s success. This is called brand extension. An example, Small Fry Snack Foods Limited, owners of the Humpty Dumpty brand, puts the Humpty Dumpty egg logo on its regular chips, but also adds it to packaging for all its new flavours.

Licensing a Successful Brand

Licensing is similar to brand extension in that one company’s brand appears on another company’s products. Some companies license their brand identification to other companies for a fee, which is usually a percentage of the new product’s sales.


Some Mac’s Milk convenience stores have a Shell gasoline pump outside the store and a Subway sandwich shop inside the store. When two or more brands combine and cooperate for their mutual benefit, it is called co-branding. Products also co-brand as well. Example is Crest toothpaste contains Scope mouthwash. Both the Crest brand and the Scope brand are featured on the Crest packages.

Acquisition of a Successful Brand

Every time Small Fry Snack Foods Limited adds a new flavour to its potato-chip line, it is using the brand extension strategy outlined earlier. Small Fry Snack Foods manufactured potato chips in Southern Ontario. It was a small but popular company that built its reputation by developing uniquely flavoured potato chips of high quality. In order to expand, however, the company was up against big competition from Hostess, Pringles, Frito-Lay, and Humpty Dumpty. The company decided that the most effective way to compete as a national company was to buy another national company that already had successful brands of snack foods. Small Fry used the brand acquisition strategy to acquire the Humpty Dumpty brand in Canada in 1994 and worldwide in 2000.

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