Sunday, March 28, 2010

Impactful Branding

What makes brands powerful?

Making line-extension brand names recognizable by (logical) sequence allows immediate association and understanding of the brand category/classification and supports differentiation strategy and recognition. Here are some case studies:

Cars: Everyone is familiar with the 3-series, 5-series and ultimate driving machine 7-series (BMW). Another example is the S40, S60, S80 (Volvo)which one can easily distinquish the sedan class and catagory. Unless you are an E-class fan, or S-class, or C-class, or B-class,'ll probably get confused at some point of time on the category difference. (of course each code has a distinctive meaning; E = Executive, S = Luxury, SLK = Sports, SLR = Exotic...but isn't each Mercedes model supposed to be executive, luxurious, sporty and exotic?).

Microprocessors: Back in the old days, (marketing brand names) Pentium I, II, III, 4... is so much easier to understand and remember rather than Athlon, Turion, Sempron, Phenom... Unless of course (again) you are a huge computing fan and you've scrutinized and memorized each processor features because of your specific needs.

Mobilephones, Laptops, Digital Cameras and other gadgets: When you have new products every 3-6 months, it's a bit difficult to keep labelling them in series (a case of brand dilution). That's why most manufacturers refer to the category as often as the brand-series.

Laptops: TT Series, Z Series, SR Series, BZ Series, G Series (Sony Vaio series).
To avoid confusion, laptop manufacturers use categories such as Mini, Everyday computing, Ultra-Portable, and High Performance which is so much more user friendly.

Digital Cameras: Usually brand distinction by the simple digital "point and shoot", and professional DSLRs series are more effective rather than the IXUS, Powershot, Powershot Pro, EOS (Canon camera).

Golf: Product categories for Game Improvement (MX-25, MX-1000, MX-100, MX-200, MX-300), Game Enhancement (MP-58, MP-68, MP-52, MP-62) (Mizuno).
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.

Therefore it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
Read more on branding strategy here

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