Brand has been defined as “the sum of all associations, feelings, attitudes and perceptions that people have related to the tangible and intangible characteristics of a company, product or service” (Brandeo, 2014).
The definition of a brand image has been proposed as “the total, global impression of the information that accumulates in the memory of consumers in relation to a band” (Franzen and Moriarty, 2008, p. 241). The terms of branding in particular has been defined as “the process of continuous struggle between procedures ad customers to define the promise and meaning” (Healey, 2008, p.6).
The issues of increasing importance of brands and branding in modern global marketplace have been addressed by a wide range of authors and the most noteworthy contributions to the issue have been made by authors such as Hill et al (2006), Franzen and Moriarty (2008), Clifton and Ahmad (2009), and Kotler and Pfoersch (2010).
Interestingly, Okonkwo (2010, p.9) reasons that “the origin of brands comes from the times when early cattle-rearing men stamped their ownership on their livestock by burning a mark of their name or identity on the cattle, to distinguish one cattle-farmer’s stock from another’s”. However, according to Franzen and Moriarty (2008) the importance of branding has seen a significant boost during the past several decades, and reasons for this have been offered as increase in the level of well-being of consumers (Inkpen and Ramaswamy, 2006), increasing role of media (Steers and Nardon, 2008), and innovations in marketing communications (Alessandri, 2009).
Abbing (2010) addresses the issues associated with the shift in the role and meaning of branding in a detailed manner and presents his findings in terms of differences in branding in the past and present in the following manner:
|Brands were previously often referred to as being||Brands in current thinking are considered to be|
|A sign of ownership||A representation of vision|
|Connected to their owner||Connected to their owner and their user|
|Facades behind which the company could hide||Lenses through which a company is seen more clearly|
|Created by their owner||Co-created by their owner and their user|
|Managed and controlled||Coached|
|An addition to the product or service||A core asset, with huge balance sheet value|
|Constructed to influence the user||Grown from within the company|
Branding Past and Present
Source: Abbing (2010)
In justification of increasing importance of brands and branding secondary data authors argue that “the intangible elements of the combined market capitalisation of Standard and Poor’s 500 companies has increased at around 80%, compared with some 30% 20 years ago, and it is likely to grow even further as tangible distinctions between businesses become less sustainable” (Clifton and Ahmad, 2009, p.5). Considerable increase in intangible elements of major multinational businesses can justly be credited to increasing importance of brands and branding in modern global marketplace.
Moreover, to further justify this stand authors mention official statistical data according to which “the 100 most valuable brands in 2008 were worth over $1.2 trillion, which would make them the 11th biggest country in the world in terms of GDP, ahead of India and just behind of Brazil” (Clifton and Ahmad, 2009, p.6).
Abbing, E. R. (2010) “Brand-Driven Innovation” AVA Book
Allessandri, S.W. (2009) “Visual Identity: Promoting and Protecting the Public Face of an Organisation”, M.E. Sharpe
Brand – defined (2014) Barndeo, Available at: http://www.brandeo.com/node/938
Clifton, R. & Ahmad, S. (2009) “Brands and Branding” John Wiley & Sons
Franzen, G. & Moriarty, S. (2008) “The Science and Art of Branding” M.E. Sharpe
Healey, M. (2008) “What is Branding?” Rockport Publishers
Hill, C.W., Tim, R. & McKaig, T. (2006) “Global Business Today” McGraw-Hill Ryerson
Inkpen, A.C. & Ramaswamy, K. (2006) “Global Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Advantage Across Borders” Oxford University Press
Okonkwo, U. (2007) “Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques” Palgrave Macmillan
Steers, R.M. & Nardon, L. (2008). “Managing in the Global Economy”, ME Sharpe