Brand or branding refers to a conscious or subconscious recognition of a particular product or service geared toward one objection, the main differentiation among products and services. A brand is designed to attribute a unique set of features that enable end users to relate to the product in its most basic form. The process of achieving this underlying association is branding.
Brand and/or branding can occur by any means, including audio / visual tools such as commercials and jingles, word of mouth, i.e., viral marketing, and integration of celebrity personalities into the marketing mix. The key concept in brand and branding efforts is finding a memorable way to reinforce the name and the unique benefits of the particular product or service.
There are certainly many benefits to brand or brand recognition; including emotional reaction based on past or current experiences, recognition of particular benefits or drawbacks, association with products in terms of overall integration into personal life, perception of value and importance, as well as potential conscious or subconscious attachment to the brand.
In essence, the use of brand and branding procedures is geared toward establishing and maintaining a relationship that lasts over an indefinite period which may, in turn, create consumer loyalty, reduce marketing and advertising costs, increase revenue and market shares, as well as enable and ease the introduction of new generations of products.
However, brand memory may also have its negative aspects, including the possibility of negative public relations and its impact on the brand. Hence, it is important to closely monitor and adjust strategies to avoid unconstructive impacts on individual brands.
Ultimately, brand recognition and branding depend greatly on factors such as individual products and services, the ability to find the proper balance in differentiating from similar products, the avoidance of negative product memory, and geographical issues such as cultural, social, economic, and public relations issues. Brand or branding alone is not necessarily a prescription to success; the product or services have naturally been able to live up to the message to maximize the impact of a brand.