Microsoft Windows 8.1 is a product because it meets a need. Because it is offers tangible goods as well as services, Microsoft Windows 8.1 has several components – it has a core product, an actual product, and an augmented product.
The core product is the operating system that is essential for running a computer. The actual product is the brand name (Microsoft) and the features that are particular to Windows 8.1 (for instance, its stability and ability to host a variety of popular and necessary software products.
The augmented aspect involves the type of support offered by Microsoft such as the frequent updates and the way that Windows 8.1 automatically updates itself so that it is not a burden to the owner who has to keep track of necessary updates.
A brand is a symbol, name, term, or design or some combination thereof that identifies that product uniquely and its value for both marketer and buyer is that it acts like kind of a shorthand of recognition.
An example is the Nike symbol. For the marketer, if a new product is introduced, branding makes introducing it to the public so much easier. Consider what it would mean for Nike to come out with a radically different type of footwear – the Nike symbol on it would give it instant recognition and credibility. This makes it much easier for the marketer to bring new products to market.
From the consumer perspective, it allows for faster decision making because they will already be familiar with the quality and service that the branding promises.
Brand equity is important for the seller because it is the measure of the impact that the brand actually has on the consumer. Brand equity is that quality that makes the consumer willing to pay more for the product just because of the perceived worth of the brand.
It differs from brand value in that brand value is actually the measurable aspect of the brand’s equity. If slapping a famous and well recognized brand on an item raises the price that a consumer is willing to pay for it, then that extra price they are willing to pay is brand value.
The Martha Stewart line of household goods are worth more than the same sheets, for example, would be worth if they were no name sheets but otherwise identical. This is brand value created by the brand equity of Stewart’s name.
The three levels of brand positioning are product attributes, benefits, and beliefs and values. For instance, in looking at “The few. The proud. The Marines” you can see a top level of brand positioning where this slogan that identifies the Marines appeal to a set of beliefs and values where the slogan triggers the notion that the Marines are special.
Think of the phrase, “many are called but few are chosen” and “the few” resonates of that specialness in being a Marine. It appeals with “The proud” which offers a nationalistic sense of American values and beliefs.
Branding is how you stand out from the crowd.
Why you need to brand
- You want to be the leader in your field
How to brand
- Simple but ongoing steps to market yourself
Branding and Social Media
- What social media to join and how to act in those groups
Building branding momentum
- Spreading the word about your app