A company’s brand is much more than just a name, or fancy logo or graphics.
A brand represents what a company stands for – it’s market positioning. It signifies what consumers percieve of that company as well as deeper feelings, emotions and beliefs about that company.
Brands do have value – Brand Equity – which is a measure of how much more the consumer would be willing to pay vs. the competition or an un-branded version. A very hard figure to calculate, so we often talk in relative terms.
I recently found an article that indirectly demonstrated the power of brands – in regards to celebrities. Top Earnings of Dead Celebrities – by Forbes – discusses how much certain celebrities that have passed away are still making.
By continueing earning after your dead, your brand must contain value. Another interesting point is how some celebrities have extended their brand to other items. Elvis to an amusement park (as well as tons of other memorabilia) and Paul Neuman to his salad dressing and other food products. It goes to the strength of the brand to be able to extend into a totally new market and still be successful.
Branding itself is a huge subject that cannot always be easily understood, nor quantified. Nonetheless it is a significant part of marketing.