The scope of branding

Branding is the process of endowing products and services with the power of a brand. It’s all about creating differences between products. Marketers need to teach consumers “who” the product is—by giving it a name and other brand elements to identify it—as well as what the product does and why consumers should care.

Branding creates mental structures that help consumers organize their knowledge about offerings in a way that clarifies their decision making and, in the process, provides value to the firm.

For branding strategies to be successful and brand value to be created, consumers must be convinced there are meaningful differences among brands in the category. Successful brands are seen as genuine, real, and authentic in what they sell as well as who they are.

It’s possible to brand

  • a physical good (Ford Focus automobile),
  • a service (Singapore Airlines),
  • a store (Dick’s Sporting Goods),
  • a person (actress Angelina Jolie),
  • a place (the country of Iceland),
  • an organization (American Automobile Association), or
  • an idea (free trade).