What is a Brand?
- A brand is a name, term, symbol, or design (or a combination of these) which identifies the goods or services of a seller (or a group of sellers), distinguishes them from those of competitors. This general term includes brand names and trademarks, and practically all means of product identification. Brands are the connection, the bond between the production and consumption.
- A brand name is narrower in meaning, and is defined as a brand or part of a brand consisting of a word, letter, group of words or letters comprising a name, which identifies the goods or services of a seller (or sellers) and distinguishes them from competitors.
- A trade-mark, on the other hand, is essentially a legal term which includes only those brands or parts of brands which the law designates as trade-marks.
Protection of Brand Names and Trade-marks
The ownership of brand names and trade marks is protected by common law. The legally valid trade-mark can be a real asset to the company.
Volkswagen (today’s Volkswagen AG) was founded in 1937 by National Socialist German Labor Party.
In 1933, aiming at the production of a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). They wanted German citizens to have the same access to a car as the Americans. Volkswagen (people’s car in German) would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings plan at about the price of a small motorcycle. Manufacturing started at a state-owned factory.
Choosing a Brand Name
A brand name can be the initial investor’s name, adaption of works, or use of a name under license. Many manufacturers believe that the names of industrial products should indicate such qualities as strength, dependability, or durability. Some suggestions of a good brand name may be:
Short, simple, easy to spell, and remember.
Pleasing and always timely (does not get out of date).
A selling suggestion.
Adaptable to any advertising medium.
Most suppliers of industrial goods use their own name or something closely associated with their name, though many manufacturers believe that the names of industrial products should indicate such qualities as strength, dependability, or durability.
Volkswagen may be unique in the sense that a brand name later becomes the manufacturing company’s name!
For a brand to be valuable in the market place, it must be recognized by the consumer. The brand enables them to identify not only the maker but also the quality of the product. Buying a product of a recognised brand, may additionally involve assurance included in the ‘total product’ (e.g. tires) when a dependable brand name is attached to it. A company respecting environmental issues during the process, may eventually get an additional market share in the selling process.
If a manufacturer develops a strong consumer brand, he may be able to force the retailers to carry the product because of consumer demand.
A manufacturing company may target at consumers with different income groups, and thus use brands effectively to isolate markets and identify different qualities.
The Group today comprises twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.
What is Brand Positioning?
- A brand position is a part of the brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the customer and that demonstrates an advantage over competing brands. (Aaker, 1995)
In order to define a marketing activity, the first step should be is to find out the positioning of a brand in the mind of the consumer (can be achieved through a research) versus where the company wants it to be. In other words, positioning is a consumer-focused strategy and an objective of a marketing strategy. Therefore, all elements of the marketing mix must be consistent with the positioning