What is branding in advertising

Branding: definition and meaning for marketing

Definition of branding

The term branding was originally used in livestock, where cattle were branded for identification. Branding as a marketing tool fulfills a similar function: Through targeted marketing measures, a company puts a stamp on its brand, so to speak, which increases its recognition value and remains in the minds of consumers for a long time.

Through branding, the attempt is made to brand with one image - an image that consumers have in mind when they come into contact with the brand - to develop into a figurehead of the company. For this purpose, this is linked to certain messages (slogans, claims), images and emotions with which the consumer can identify. The aim is to increase the intangible value of this brand and develop trust and customer loyalty.

However, before a brand can be built and given an image, a product and an idea that is to be linked to it must exist. It doesn't even have to be a “buyable” product - a person, a geographic location or even a company can also be “branded”. Certain properties are then assigned to the product in the course of branding so that the idea can become firmly established in the consumer's mind. An appealing design and logo, jingle or slogan that stay in your head and, last but not least, an easy-to-remember name contribute significantly to the recognition value.

What are the goals of branding?

The primary goal of branding is to differentiate it from competitors' products and to gain loyal customers. However, this can only happen if both the brand and the image are burned into the mind of the consumer and he prefers to choose products from the brand, as they combine quality and certain emotions, associations or messages - such as a certain attitude towards life - with them. As soon as the consumer comes into contact with the brand, all these elements of the branding should be called up immediately. With successful branding, the customer develops an emotional relationship to the brand - through identification or getting used to.

Branding: meaning and purpose

Brands strengthened by branding can suggest a certain attitude towards life. The consumer in the supermarket is more likely to choose the brand whose image best suits him or his wishes or with which he has already had good experiences in the past, the quality of which he already knows and so before you Bad buy is preserved.

Good branding arouses certain expectations in the consumer. When he buys Coca-Cola, he buys (and pays) the familiar branding at the same time, even if the product does not differ much from the cheaper competition. Just like when buying an Apple device, there are expectations of design and ease of use. But memories can also be awakened through good branding, for example of the last barbecue with friends at which drinks of a certain brand were consumed. The consumer associates these positive feelings when they come back into contact with the product and is more likely to use it.

Examples of successful branding

  • Apple with its bitten apple on the back of its devices stands for qualitative, intuitive high-end products and a clear, elegant design.
  • The iconic bottle from Coca-Cola, which has already become a cult, is shaped in such a way that consumers can recognize it without any imprint or engraving. A happy lifestyle for all age groups is suggested. The Christmas Coca-Cola truck focuses on family and friends at the end of the year.
  • Evian conveys a sense of purity - so strikingly that the brand even managed to use it in addition to its world-famous mineral water Brand stretching to market a cosmetics line under the same roof - although the two products do not go together.
  • Clothing brands like Boss or Armani embody style, extravagance and a lifestyle. This branding has been expanded to include perfumes and toiletries from the same brands.
  • The Swedish company IKEA impresses with its perfectly executed corporate branding and stands for low prices, self-assembly of furniture and a family atmosphere. This branding works so well that IKEA has gained a monopoly on the furniture market, at least in Germany.

Branding: Differentiation from marketing

Branding and marketing are closely related, but they perform different functions. Branding positions the brand in order to satisfy a need - important aspects in branding are vision, mission and values. Marketing, on the other hand, is supposed to find a market for the brand that generates sales - important keywords here are business plan, advertising and sales. Marketing therefore describes the specific measures that have to be carried out in order to make a brand known.

Ultimately, marketing generates buyers, and branding is used to acquire loyal customers in a targeted and sustainable manner. Branding is therefore the basis of good marketing and plays a role in every marketing measure.

Different types of branding

  • Product branding
  • Corporate branding (brand encompasses an entire company)
  • Employer branding (employees and shareholders of the company identify with the brand)
  • Personal branding (public figures are marketed)
  • Geographical branding (cities and sights become brands, especially in tourism)
  • Retail branding (the retailer is better known than its products, e.g. Amazon, Tchibo)
  • Co-branding (two or more strong brands create a common product)

Branding: the basis for any good marketing strategy

For existing entrepreneurs as well as for founders, it is important that their own brand is recognizable. Through branding, the brand can be marketed in such a way that certain emotions and messages are triggered with every contact between the consumer and the brand. This can be achieved by emphasizing the USP of the brand in the first step and thus making the company stand out from the competition. However, before concrete advertising measures can be taken and one begins to design advertising, the branding must be planned. The following questions can help:

  • WHO are you, your company and your customers?
  • WHAT is your product?
  • HOW does the product stand out from others?
  • WHY are you selling this product, what motivates you to do so?

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Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.