Prior to the 1990’s most products or services were not branded. Products and services were sold under the shopkeeper or service provider’s name. With the industrial revolution we saw an increase in consumer products and as competition grew, products were imitated. This was the driving force for the growth of brands. Brands were adopted to identify the trade origin of products in an ever expanding marketplace. Brands were not only used to indicate the trade source and attributes of a product or service, but they were an abbreviated form of communicating with consumers.
Brands have been affected by such things as retailer ‘in- house’ brands, social media, pricing and economic conditions. The Internet online sales community and competition in uncertain economic times has influenced many consumers to consider factors other than brand preference. This makes the strength of brands and the message that they communicate to consumers even more important in such times. When you have a famous biscuit brand with a high level of brand loyalty retailing at over $2.00 and you have an imitation biscuit under a retailer in house brand selling at under $1.00, that is when brand preference and brand loyalty are put under pressure.
The branding landscape is a broad and ever changing one. Consumers are dictating the nature of that landscape, depending upon prevailing conditions and the improvement and availability of competitive alternatives. Prestige brands are in demand to those who can afford them and there will always be a sector of the consumer community who will not accept alternative brands. The challenge is to recognise what it is that can create brand loyalty such as this and build it in the creation process.
To understand the brand creation process, think about the process of designing and building your home. You consult an architect and he determines what outcome you want to achieve and your likes and dislikes. Then he or she comes up with design ideas for your dream home. You make a choice and everything is looking great! However problems develop. The builder does not think that construction is feasible or the architect may have used features of a project home and a copyright dispute develops or there are regulations limiting what can be built on your land. All these lead to changes and all of a sudden you come to the realisation that you are ending up with a home which is not really your dream home or even one you are fond of and to make matters worse it has cost you tens of thousands or much more to reach that stage.
With trade mark creation, firstly the brand architect determines the outcome the customer wants to achieve (your objectives in creating your brand and the target market) and the likes and dislikes of the customer in that market. What is it you want to say to the customer (communication message) and how can you achieve such result?
As with your house project, it is important that as part of the brand creation process there is an understanding of the nature of the problems or disasters that can arise and that appropriate steps are taken to avoid them. This requires experience and expertise built over ten or more years in dealing and coming to grips with problems that arise with trade mark creation and protection. It is not about choosing a nice name; it is about undertaking a process which involves a complete brand strategy creation and protection process.
If you have any queries in respect to this article, please contact Andy Chrysiliou: achrysiliou@ChrysiliouIP.com.au