Branding – It’s Importance in Marketing
Branding – The study of consumers behaviour is consumed with these statements, why consumers behave the way they do consumers learn about new products, how consumers opinions and impression are modified.
Understanding consumer’s behavior can enable manufacturers to better how the needs and meet consumers groups which is been attempted to serve. However it is quite difficult to study and understand consumer behaviour because it cannot be subjected to scientific proves or tests. The only alternative often used by deductive scientists has been the use of deductive reasoning or judgments made from past experiences of constant exhibition of any particular behaviour. Marketing executives on their own part have often sought to understand the concept of consumer behaviour by carrying out research into knowing what is the wants of the consumers and, why they need these products. The gathered information is analyzed and integrated into the alternative marketing programmes, which are aimed at certify the needs of the consumer, profitably. Let us now consider and see some author’s views on the consumer’s behaviour.
Brand as defined by Encyclopedia Britannica or service of the seller(s) and to differentiate in then from good of competitors. A brand aids consumers in differentiating between items of different manufacturers of trademark.
Brand is the act of identifying a products of service with a names sign, a symbol or design or combination of these which is intended to distinguish the product or service or one seller or group of sellers from these of competitors.
Branding of products is necessary for purpose of identification and differentiation. For example, one advertisement of manufactures and middlemen can be easily identified and differentiated from others through one use of brand names. According to Ifezue (1991, et al. 142). “A brand offers some protections to one consumer through identification of the company behind facilitates the buying problems of the customer by making it easier for the consumer to identify the products of their choice”.
According to Michael Baker (1985 P. 54). “Branding is now standard practice for one majority of goods, although it is most frequently association with product purchased for person consumption”.
From both the consumer’s and producer’s point of view the brand serves as a useful short hand expertise associated with a given product.
Moreover, it helps consumers to distinguish fakes from the authentic when buyers are either satisfied or dissatisfied with a product, branding makes it easier for them to trace the product to the maker so as to either make a repeat purchase if satisfied to avoid the product, return the produce tell these not to buy it or seek redress it not satisfied. It also facilitates the introduction of new product.
He further says that “brand enables the purchaser to obtain products which satisfy highly specific wants, without having to restore to a detailed description of them. According to Bulk (1985:46) branding of products is necessity in highly competitive market to ensure customer recognition and for the protection of the company’s product image.
Kotler (1997:442) says, “Brand is a major issue in product strategy”. On the one hand developing a branded product required a great deal of long-term investment spending, especially for advertising, promoting and packaging. In developing a market strategy for individual product, the sells have to confront the branding decision.
Schewe and Smith (1980:100) conclude, “Branding is the basis of pull marketing”. Through branding, it is stable continues market and market share is established and cashier sales relationship, easier sales forecasting and easier production and purchasing to schedule.
To be successfully, a brand needs three sets of attributes.
1) It has to be a coherent totality not a lot of hits. The physical product, the pack and all the element of communication must be blended into a single personality.
2) It has to be unique and constantly developing to stay unique, it is through this that, the brand can offer functional and now functional appeal to the senses emotions and the reason.
3) This blend of appeal must be clearly relevant to people’s need desire; it must stand out from the “crowed” and spring to the mind.
A brand plan should include the statement of objectives, policies and procedures regarding the selection of brand names and trademark. Brand name according to Baker may be given to individual products or a generic, or family, brand may be used for a firms complete products line. Individual brand names are expensive to establish, and usually require a large investment in advertising and sales promotion.
This decision is made because a firm could brand it products or decide not to so the decision may be on, whether a brand name should be develop for the product? It is yes the decision stage come in.
Brand Sponsor Decision
According to Kotler (1990:463) “Several option are available to brand to product. The product may be launched as manufacturers owned brand, or may be launched as a licensed name brand. The manufacturer may be also sold the products to middlemen who put on a private brand. The middlemen bother their own brands because they have to limit down their private label.
This is any effort to extend a successful brand name to launch a new product. As a strategy, brand extension appears to give a new product instant recognition. It saves all the advertising cost involved in familiarizing consumers with a new name.
Multi Brand Decision
Kotler (1990:460) says, “In this strategy, the seller develop two or more brand in the same product category. This practice is apotted for several reasons. Manufactures can gain more shelf space on the products and it will create excitement and efficiency within the manufacturer organization.
Combination Brand Strategy
The words Buell (1985:35) “Diversification has forced companies to reexamine their brand strategies”. A brand image is often the deciding factors as to whether to apply it to other products. Gillets, for examples, features the co-operate brand name in its writing instrument and it uses individual brand name or toiletries.
Characteristics for Selecting A Good Brand Name.
Viewing on the importance of name as an integral reinforce of the product concept of the Unilevers Brothers Nigeria Plc, which posses the following quantities.
1) The brand name should suggest something about the product benefits, use or action. It should be a symbol that is telling about the product e.g baby pear, close up toothpaste.
2) The brand name should be easy to pronounce, recognize where ever or when you see it, you will recognize the product, it will be easy to spell and even be remade. Brand name should not bear sophisticated name but it will be the pronouncing of the name will scare you from the product.
3) It should be distinctive from others competitors brand name. Brand with name line 4 maggi cubes.
4) The brand name should be adaptive to any new product that may be of the same type like coke, fanta, sprit e.t.c.
5) A brand name should be powerful so as to have consumers fantasia, it will be a lot to have consumers franchise, it will be along lasting name, even when the companies can no longer afford to manufacture in their home land, the name will continue to command consumers loyalty, such names like Toyota, Mercedes, IBM, Coke etc.
Types of Branding Strategies.
Different tends of brands are developing and are acceptance to its actual and potential consumers. For instance, in Nigeria manufacturing industries producer launching soaps and cleaning agent in our market while is witnessing multiple brand of soap with different quantities.
There are some of the types of brands.
i) Multi-product brand-where this or “family” brand are used one or a limited number of brand name is associated to a verity of products. Example, IBM computers, general electric company with its kitchen appliances.
Family brand have a promotional advantages of creating awareness and reputations over a whole range of products may be more speedily find trade consumer acceptance, as long as the market perceives the product as being appropriate to the brand range, whereas, a poor product can have a disproportionate effect in damaging the reputation of the brand. Other brand names that are associated to the family brand names are as followings:-
a) A blanket family name of all products.
b) Separate family names of all products.
c) Company trade name combined with individual product names.
ii. Brand Quantity- first and foremost, qualities is said to be, the rated ability of the brand to perform its functions.
Here the producer establishers the brands quantity lever and other attributes for effective brand or product positioning in the market place. Some of the attributes evaluated objectively are standing on development.
Battle of branding: It could be seen as competition between manufacturers (national) brands and the retailed (private) brands can compete with the national brands and have often succeeded in causing price reductions on the national brands to make them more competitive.
iii) Brand-Extension:- It is calculated effort adopted for a successful brand name to launch product modifications or additional products. It is well pronounced in the detergent industries and breweries with brands like one, elephant, appolo, gulder, respectively.
Brand extension also covers the introduction of new package sizes, flavours and models. More interesting is use of successful brand name to launch new products. Again, the products name assists the capacity of the brand name to steep they would be buyer through the purchase decision process. Thereby developing loyalty towards a named product which can be easily recognized and selected from amongst the whole lots of the completing product, the selective treatment will be encourages where the product name establishes a specific image to the customer. Since name of the Unilever Brothers Nigeria Plc product bears its name, it therefore shows that it does not adopt independence staff and liquid valued by the community has led her to great height of independence, flexibility and control by marketing her range of products under family brand extension which establishes objectively the product prestige derivability reliability, precision, style and standard for the segments they appeal to. Te Unilever Brothers Products brands are important because they can be transferred intentionally and with them, the perception of the quality of the product can often be maintained. Consumers all over the world wants quantity products will enhance their personal prestige at an affordable price.
However, all these brand strategies give the consumer a vacating wide range of choice to buy any of the series in case of the dissatisfaction at once.
Branding as an Effective Marketing Strategy for Toiletries.
In developing a marketing strategy for individual products, the seller has to comfort the branding decision, branding is a major issue in product strategy. On the one hand, developing a brand product requires a great deal of long term investment spending, especially for advertisement promotion and packaging.
A manufactures or retailers may take years and spend millions to develop a new brand name or it can “rent” names that already hold magic for consumers or symbols created by other manufacturers or well known people, characters from popular movies and books for a fee, any of this can give product an instant and familiar brand name. Unilever Brothers Products spent liberally to build up brand names such as “Lux” soap with colour varieties, green, white, pink and lemon. This is to suit consumer fact. Today lux soap has consumer’s franchise name and character licensing had become a big business in recent years. Manufacturers pay out almost twenty billion naira each year to use popular names and characters on their products and these products generate almost forty billion each year in retails sales. A brand extension strategy is any effort to extend a successful brand extension offers a number of advantages. A strong brand name given to a new product instant recognition. The company saves all the advertising cost involved in familiarizing consumer with a new name. This people will ordinary respond positively to pears baby soap or close-up toothpaste.
The Importance of Branding in Manufacturing Industries.
Branding is the method adopted by organizations to help them position and differentiate their environment. Branding as part of marketing programmes and survival of an organization in the marketing in the environment. The Unilever Brothers Nigeria Plc has grown adversely in the market because of the acceptance of its brand name and brand loyal. Different kinds of brands are developed and are acceptable to its actual and potential consumer by Unilever Brothers Product.
Finally, the importance of branding in manufacturing industry should be seen as the heart of a company. Branding has helped in Unilever Brothers Product to the extent that over the years, the company diversified and marketing of the above state thirteen (13) product line which had lead to the operation of the company with four factories at Apaper and about two cargo ships that conveys some of its products across the national facilities.
Moreover, it turns out that branding can perform a number of useful functions for Unilever Brothers Product which are stated below:
1) Unilever Brothers Product wants a brand mark for identification to simplify handling or tracing.
2) Unilever Brothers Product wants a legal trademark and patent to protect unique product features from brand limited.
3) Unilever Brothers Product wants to emphasize a certain quantity level in the offer and make it easy for satisfied customers to find the product again.
The Impact of Branding on Consumer Buying Decision
The impact of branding on consumers buying decision are affected by many things. This decision made by the consumer with regards to identifying the branded products of a particular company for example (Unilever Brothers Product) is affected by some or all of these branding.
Consumer Purchase Decision
Prior to making a purchase, a consumer must have gone through several mental purchase which often he may not have been conscious of these stage through which a buyer passes in making a decision about which products or service to buy to known as the purchase decision process. Five stages are identified in this process.
i) Problem recognition: This is the initial step in the purchase decision process. It is perceiving a difference between a person’s ideal and actual situation big enough to trigger a decision (Engel et al, 1986). Advertisement and sales people are used in market to advert a consumer’s decision-making process by showing the inadequacies of competing (currently owned) products for example problem recognition e.g a product like joy soap being product by Unilever Brothers Product.
ii) Information search: Having become aware that a problem exist, the consumer then begin to search, that is scanning your memory for previous experience with products are brands, so as to know its important of that branding.
Also, a consumer on the other hand may undertake an external search for information if the past experience of knowledge is sufficient, the risk of making a wrong purchase or decision is high and the cost of gathering information is low (Robertson TDS ET AL (1985) external information can be obtained from:-
a) Personal source (such as realties and friends trusted by the consumer).
b) Public sources, including various products rating organization, government agencies, consumer affairs, page in newspaper, television consumer programmes e.t.c.
c) Market dominated sources, such as information from that include advertising sales people and point of purchase display in stores.
Therefore, (Unilever Brothers Product) use all phase strategies so as to show the importance of a branding of product and its effectiveness when used. That is to say before a consumer will have the decision of buying, he or she must have known the important in regards with products and brands before the interest could be stimulated. Because, a consumer will not first go directly to the market and buy a particular product without knowing its effectiveness and important with regards to brands and products.
Finally, the extent of a consumer’s search for information depends on the percentage risk and uncertainty, the greater the search.
iii) Alternative evaluation: When a consumer has obtained enough information, the next logical step is the evaluation of these alternatives consumers often have several criteria in evaluating brands. With this knowledge, (Unilever Brothers Product) seeks or usually seek identify white evaluative criteria is more important for consumer when judging brands. This evaluation will crystallize in best two or three alternative. The chosen alternatives are called evoked set which a consumer seeks a solution to a problem.
iv) Purchase decision: once a consumer has external the alternative in evoked set, he then makes a purchase decision on the other hand, he may decide not to buy as when non of the alternatives appears to help in the solution of this problem satisfactorily or if the purchase would simple lead to another problem. The consumer may decide to seek for more information when there is uncertainty and there is no pressure to make a decision now.
v) Post purchase behaviour: Consumer rely stop with the purchase decision itself. Having purchase a product, the consumer compares it with his or her expectations and is either satisfied or distillates. Consumers experience are generally the strongest influence on what believe about the product or brand and its attributes.
Branding As a Tool For Product Posting
Branding gives a product an image that distinct from the summer competitor, that is to say product positioning goes beyond image making. The image making product seeks to cultivate an image in the customer’s mind as a larger friendly or efficient product, it often develop a symbol, such as star, lion to dramatize its personality in a distinctive way yet the customer may see the competing product as basically a like, except for chosen symbol.
Branding as a tool for product positioning is an attempt to distinguish the product from its competitors along real dimension in order to be the preferred product for certain market segments.
Banding gives a product an image that distinct it from the simpler competitors. Brand name contributes to instant recognitions of the company and its product. The brand name of a product provides the buyers first encounter with the product and is capable of turning the buyer’s “on” or “off”.
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This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic “THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING IN THE MARKETING OF UNILEVER PRODUCTS IN ENUGU STATE”