The branding concept is a process that began with the idea of tagging consumer products with nomenclatures that are meant to aid or facilitate easy recall and recollection by consumers/customers, especially in markets where other competing products are performing similar roles.
Nowadays, it has a deep connotation that is worth describing inorder to put it in the proper marketing perspective.
Before we take a look into the Branding Concept, it will be pertinent to first of all define and explain the 4 Pillars of Branding.
So what are the 4 pillars of branding?
1. The Heritage Pillar: The first of these is the Heritage Pillar. This refers to the Origin and Root of the brand.
In professional Brand Management, the focus here is usually the distillation of cherished value assocuations, unique to the brand, aand appreciated by a large body of customers who constitute the target market.
2. The Product Pillar: This is the second pillar of branding. Here, the focus is on the set of benefits the product offers.
To record a high level of success, these benefits offered by the product must be fashioned to meet the needs of target customers in more superior ways to those offered by both direct and indirect alternatives.
In extended value terms, these functional benefits must be compatible with the value associations derived from the Brand Heritage.
3. The Personality Pillar: This is an expression of the description of the brand as if it were a person(male/female, dubious/honourable, deceptive/sincere, weak/strong etc).
Here, the management’s focus is on the range of self expressive benefits which must be consistent with the kind of statement the customer wants his/her association with the brand to spontaneously evoke.
4. The Signs & Symbols Pillar: This is the fourth pillar of branding, which is nothing but the pictorial representation of the Brand/in-market identifiers.
These usually come in form of colour schemes, logos, and other visual design features/elements, which are unique to the brand.
Brand Ideas Setting
In idea settings, the Brand is Subsequently managed to establish its significance and meaning through:
1. An understanding of whose interest( target customers/audience) we want the Brand to serve; and what this means in terms of “Brand Purpose”
2. A clear assessment of the issues and challenges which the brand must be developed and managed to address.
3. A clear statement of the strategic objectives that we need to achieve through the deployment of the Brand. Inorder words, a sound branding strategy.
4. Imaginative and visionary distillation of the types and nature of unique and customer-relevant values and imageries that can be distilled from the typifications of each of the Pillars.
5. A creative and imaginative linkage between the needs of the target customers and the unique capabilities of the brand (as derived from the established Brand Pillar typifications).
6. A dispassionate confirmation of the relevance of the distilled “Brand Meaning and Purpose” for the target customers.
7. Professional development of an expression that best encapsulates the meaning and purpose of the Brand, given the objectives it must address.
It is not uncommon however, for brands to weaken overtime. In such circumstances, the need for Brand Renewal is imperative.
The task of bringing about the Renewal of the Brand can be managed through a Re-Branding exercise; an exercise that affords the opportunity to:
1. Re-appraise the issues/challenges facing the existing brand.
2. Review the “Brand Meaning” and “Purpose” as currently defined.
3. Institute the process of strengthening the weak brand along the lines that are outlined above for Brand Building.