The term ‘branding‘ has become so common today that most people, even agencies misuse it interpreting ‘advertising’ into ‘branding‘, therefore creating a public misconception.
“A product is tangible: you can see it, touch it, smell it or even taste it. It has physical attributes – styles, models, features, price and etc.”
An advertisement for a product highlights its physical attributes through packaging, attractive/pretty colours, latest hype, eye catching phrases and even catchy tunes to gain desirability among its consumers. For example, TV commercials for perfume/cologne that often highlights a model’s sex appeal, creating an association between the product and sex appeal.
A brand is a composite of how consumers feel about a product, the personality they attribute to it, the trust they place in it, the confidence it earns from them, the affection they feel for it and above all, their shared experience with the product.
An advertisement for a brand highlights the brand’s reliability, quantified market presence and often associated with a product to create a perceived trust among consumers. For example, advertisements in the telecommunications industry in Malaysia whereby the brand’s services, commitment and excellence are often highlighted, creating a perceived reliability and trust just by the mention of the brand although the fact is the service/product offered is similar.
So, is advertising and branding the same? NO! Just as having a product isn’t advertising, advertising isn’t at all branding. Advertising is merely a branding tool to enhance a product’s perceived value in the eyes of the consumers.
The brand is also the most important and sustainable asset a client can have, especially in today’s highly competitive and complex market. A strong brand adds value, resilience and stability, shifts the supply and demand curve right to the bottom line. This profitability is driven by consumer loyalty as the result of a strong relationship between the consumer and the product, tied together by the brand itself.
A strong brand is able to raise the barrier of entry, making competitors think twice before stepping in; It is also able to raise the barrier of exit where existing customers will lose value if they leave as they are bonded to the brand, a relational tie that will not be easily replaced by another.
This is also the role of us, Brand Building Consultants, to build YOUR brand where advertisements alone will NEVER reach as we believe the most valuable service we can provide for our clients is to fully understand, develop and enhance the relationship between a consumer and the brand.