Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Branding - Get It Right and You'll Win

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Branding - Get It Right and You'll Win

Article excerpt

TO those outside the profession of marketing, branding can mean little more than fancy packaging or an eye-catching logo. David Thorp of the Chartered Institute of Marketing explains why brands mean business, and should be taken seriously by all organisations It is tempting to think of a brand as something that only matters to the multinational giants whose products fill our supermarket shelves.

Many people - especially those outside the traditional fast-moving consumer goods arena - dismiss branding as the preserve of the likes of Coke and Cadbury's.

But branding is important to all organisations, operating in any environment.

The specialist medical company that is a leader in its field or the respected local authority can both offer the same reassurance and guarantee of quality that consumers seek when choosing an internationally-recognised brand name.

Even in the business-to-business sector, customers do not make decisions on the facts and figures alone, and often irrational, intangible forces will prompt them to choose one product over the other.

Brands such as Nissan, Vodafone and even Northern Rock have succeeded because they appeal to the heart as well as the head.

And in a crowded marketplace, brand identity may be all that separates one company from its competitors.

A strong brand inspires loyalty. It helps a company to maintain a price premium - consumers will pay more for a branded T-shirt from a recognised high-street store than they will for a similar garment from a market stall that is unbranded.

It opens doors - the well-known company in its chosen market will find it easier to secure a sales meeting, will find it easier to break into new markets or to secure the larger contracts.

And when things go wrong, a company with a recognised name may be forgiven more readily.

So what is a brand and how to we create a brand that can really boost a business? …

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