Product Packaging and Branding

A Brief Definition of Brand

A brand refers to a name, term, symbol, or any other type of feature that defines or identifies a seller’s product or service.

Learning Objectives

Explain the history and importance of branding

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The word ” brand ” is derived from the Old Norse brand meaning “to burn,” which refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products.
  • During the Industrial Revolution, the production of many household items, such as soap, was moved from local communities to centralized factories where they were branded with a logo or insignia, extending the meaning of “brand” to that of trademark.
  • All of a brand’s elements (i.e., logo, color, shape, letters, images) work as a psychological trigger or stimulus that causes an association to all other thoughts we have about a brand.
  • Brands provide external cues to taste, design, performance, quality, value, and prestige if they are developed and managed properly.
  • Brands convey positive or negative messages about a product. They also indicated the company or service to the consumer, which is a direct result of past advertising, promotion, and product reputation.
  • A brand can convey up to six levels of meaning: Attributes, Benefits, Values, Culture, Personality and User.

Key Terms

  • brand: A name, symbol, logo, or other item used to distinguish a product, service, or its provider.

Defining a Brand

A brand consists of any name, term, design, style, words, symbols or any other feature that distinguishes the goods and services of one seller from another. A brand also distinguishes one product from another in the eyes of the customer. All of its elements (i.e., logo, color, shape, letters, images) work as a psychological trigger or stimulus that causes an association to all other thoughts we have about this brand. Tunes, celebrities, and catchphrases are also oftentimes considered brands.

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Coca-Cola Brand Logo: The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-recognized trademark and global brand.

History

The word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse ‘brand’ meaning “to burn,” which refers to the practice of producers burning their mark (or brand) onto their products. Italians are considered among the first to use brands in the form of watermarks on paper in the 1200s. However, in mass-marketing, this concept originated in the 19th century with the introduction of packaged goods.

During the Industrial Revolution, the production of many household items, such as soap, was moved from local communities to centralized factories to be mass-produced and sold to the wider market. Illiteracy was still prevalent and packing crates were handled by stevedores who couldn’t read. Factories branded their logo or insignia on the barrels used and the logo of the companies to which the cargo was being shipped. This allowed the products to be delivered to the proper location. The meaning of “brand” extended to that of the trademark symbol, and communicated to retailers and their customers that mass produced products should be trusted as much as local competitors. Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Juicy Fruit gum, Aunt Jemima, and Quaker Oats were among the first U.S. products to be “branded. ”

Connotations

A successful brand can create and sustain a strong, positive, and lasting impression in the mind of a consumer. Brands provide external cues to taste, design, performance, quality, value and prestige if they are developed and managed properly. Brands convey positive or negative messages about a product, along with indicating the company or service to the consumer, which is a direct result of past advertising, promotion, and product reputation.

A brand can convey up to six levels of meaning:

  • Attributes: The Mercedes-Benz brand, for example, suggests expensive, well-built, well-engineered, durable, high-prestige automobiles.
  • Benefits: attributes must be translated into functional and emotional benefits.
  • Values: Mercedes stands for high performance, safety, and prestige.
  • Culture: Mercedes represents German culture, organized, efficient, high quality.
  • Personality: the brand projects a certain personality.
  • User: the brand suggests the kind of consumer who buys and uses the product.

Brand Categories

Similar goods and services are classified in brand categories.

Learning Objectives

Define a brand

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Brand categories, or generic classification of products, group similar goods and services.
  • A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
  • Brand awareness refers to the customer’s ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions, using memory associations to link to the brand name, logo, jingles, and so forth.

Key Terms

  • Brand categories: A generic classification of products or services.
  • Brand Equity: the value of having a well-known name, logo, or other identifier

Brand Categories

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

Branding began as a functional marketing tool. Italians are considered among thefirst to use brands in the form of watermarks on paper in the 1200s. People in the Middle Ages were illiterate. Medieval guilds — candle makers, goldsmiths,cobblers; carpenters, painters and masons; bakers and fishmongers — created symbols to be etched or stamped into their work, products or crates which represented and certified the quality of a guild’s work.

Brand categories are generic classifications of products or services. Similar and competing products (or services) all fall into the same brand category. For example, all the different perfumes fall into the brand category of perfume because they all satisfy the same consumer need.

Brand awareness refers to the customer’s ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions, using memory associations to link to the brand name, logo, jingles, and so forth. It consists of both brand recognition and brand recall. It helps the customers understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products (Keller). Brand awareness is of critical importance, since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it.

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Brand logo: Brand awareness refers to thecustomer’s ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions,using memory associations to link to the brand name, logo, jingles, and so forth.

There are various levels of brand awareness that require different levels and combinations of brand recognition and recall. Top-of-Mind is the goal of most companies. Top-of-Mind Awareness occurs when your brand is what pops into a consumer’s mind when asked to name brands in a product category. For example, when someone is asked to name a type of facial tissue, the common answer is Kleenex, which is a top-of-mind brand. Aided Awareness occurs when a consumer is shown or reads a list of brands, and expresses familiarity with your brand only after they hear or see it as a type of memory aid. Strategic Awareness occurs when your brand is not only top-of-mind to consumers, but also has distinctive qualities that stick out to consumers as making it better than the other brands in your market. The distinctions that set your product apart from the competition are also known as the Unique Selling Points or USP.

The Benefits of a Good Brand

Good branding gives a company several advantages including establishing a positive reputation and building an image attractive to consumers.

Learning Objectives

Explain the components of a strong brand

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Branding develops an image of a company’s products in the minds of consumers, attributing goods with certain unique qualities or characteristics that, if done effectively, are attractive to the target audience.
  • A brand widely known in the market has brand recognition and builds up positive sentiment which further strengthens the company position amongst competitors.
  • Benefits of a strong brand include: being able to command higher prices, speeding up new product acceptance, enabling market share penetration by advertising, and resisting price erosion.

Key Terms

  • brand image: The set of emotional and sensory perceptions a consumer associates with a particular product or service in their mental construct of a brand.
  • good: an object produced for market

Benefits of a Strong Brand

A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, design, or combination thereof); it also represents a relationship to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors etc. Proper branding can yield higher product sales, and higher sales of products associated with the brand (or brand association). For example, a a customer who loves Pillsbury biscuits (and trusts the brand) is more likely to try other products the company offers, such as chocolate chip cookies.

Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of brand associations (e.g., thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, etc.) that become tied to the brand from the experiential aspect—the sum of all points of contact with the brand, otherwise known as brand experience. Brand experience is a brand’s action perceived by a person. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people, consisting of all the information and expectations associated with a product, service, or company providing them.

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Brands: Good branding gives a company several advantages, including establishing a positive reputation and building an image attractive to consumers.

The branding process seeks to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating an impression that a product or service associated with a brand possesses certain qualities or characteristics that set it apart from other (e.g., competitor) products or services. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates the uniqueness of what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. Orientation of the whole organization towards its brand is called brand orientation. Brand orientation is developed in response to market intelligence. Brand strength analysis describes efforts to determine the strength a brand has compared with its competitors. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.

Careful brand management seeks to make the product or services appealing and/or relevant to the target audience. Brands should reflect more than mere differential of product cost versus selling price. They should represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds to the point of a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. Brand recognition is most successful when a brand is recognized independent of the company’s name, but rather through visual signifiers like logos, slogans, and colors. For example, Disney has been successful branding with their particular script font, originally created for Walt Disney’s “signature” logo, and which it now uses in the logo for the website GO.com.

Consumers may view branding as an aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote certain attractive qualities or characteristics. From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality or reputation of the brand or brand owner. Benefits of good brand recognition include facilitating of new product acceptance, enabling market share penetration by advertising, and resisting price erosion.

Developing a Brand

Developing a brand successfully requires a company to analyze the characteristics and values a customer base desires.

Learning Objectives

Explain how companies can develop their brand

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Brands have intrinsic attributes (functional characteristics and design of the products ) and extrinsic attributes ( packaging, pricing, marketing tactics) that develops the brand image and personality.
  • A well-developed brand creates value beyond the actual product.
  • Every design shown and communication made to the consumer are related to branding.

Key Terms

  • marketing: Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers.
  • advertising: communication whose purpose is to influence potential customers about products and services.

Developing a Brand

The goal when developing a brand is to create value. You do that by emulating the characteristics and values that your customers desire. Branding is present throughout everything your company touches—it is not just a logo. Every design shown and communication made to the consumer are examples of branding.

Branding Attributes

Brands have intrinsic and extrinsic attributes. Intrinsic attributes refer to functional characteristics of the brand: its shape, performance, and physical capacity (e.g. Gillette razors shave unwanted hair and are able to do so more closely than most products in their product class because of their curved shape). Should any of these attributes be changed, they will not function in the same way or be the same product.

Examples of extrinsic attributes are features like the price of the Gillette razors, their packaging, the Gillette brand name, and mechanisms that enable consumers to form associations that give meaning to the brand. For example, it can appear more desirable because David Beckham, who is a brand himself, advertizes it.

Some refer to a brand’s function as the creation and communication of a multidimensional character of a product—one that is not easily copied and damaged by competitors’ efforts.

Brands have different elements, namely brand personality (functional abilities), brand skill (its fundamental traits—e.g. Chanel No 5 is seen as sexy) and brand relationships (with buyers) or brand magic. These elements are what give the brand added value.

Marketing and advertising are about selling your products and services. Branding is about selling everything associated with your organization. The consumer perception of brands is brand knowledge: brand awareness, recognition and recall, and brand image denote how consumers perceive a brand based on quality and attitudes towards it and what stays in their memory.

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Branding: Branding is about selling everything associated with your organization.

This suggests that brand associations are anything linked in memory to a brand. “The essence of branding is promising and delivering” (Low and Lamb Jr, 2000). The successful organizations realize that the employees are influential to brand strategy. Aaker referred to studies using different methods and larger samples, which point out that “consumers noted for high-preference brands, 82% related to employee behavior; for low-preference brands, 90% related to influence of employee behavior (attitudes, competence, and personalization of the service).” Therefore, a part of brand strategy must focus on building brand association among employees at all levels. “If the employees are aligned with the brand strategy, including the promise, then they will deliver a consistent expression of the brand to their customers at every touch point.”

Brand Development Index or (BDI) measures the relative sales strength of a brand within a specific market (e.g. Pepsi brand in 10 – 50 year olds). It is a measure of the relative sales strength of a given brand in a specific market area.

Brand Management Strategies

Through effective brand management, organizations can build a loyal following of engaged consumers.

Learning Objectives

Assess the variety of brand management strategies companies employ, and identify the potential advantages and disadvantages of each one

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Brand management can enable high levels of awareness, engagement, retention and loyalty from users, which translates into significant organizational value.
  • There are a wide variety of brand management strategies, each of which has some pros and cons organizations will want to consider on a case by case basis.
  • Some examples of brand management strategies include iconic branding, individual branding, multi- product branding, sub-branding, and co-branding.
  • Modern day branding incorporates a number of new tactics that organizations must be aware of to succeed. The social media landscape empowers companies to engage with consumers in a meaningful way (if properly managed).
  • Through understanding both the organization’s culture and the target market(s), organizations must make informed strategic and tactical decisions regarding how to build a brand.

Key Terms

  • retention: In general, this is the process of remembering something. In business, however, it refers to the ability of an organization to keep its current customers.
  • engagement: In marketing, this is the degree to which individuals follow, discuss, comment on, and participate with a brand.
  • loyalty: In business, this is a customer’s propensity to buy from the same organization again as a result of a meaningful brand relationship.

Brand management is a wide and varied study of the various approaches organizations can take to maximize consumer awareness, engagement, retention, and loyalty. Brand management strategies are constantly evolving, and the various potential distribution channels between organizations and their consumers is also rapidly changing. The rise of social networks is an incredible opportunity for meaningful engagement with current and prospective customers, and free outlets like Youtube enable viral distribution of assets for virtually no cost (indeed, sometime for a profit!).

The reason for brand management is relatively simple. Through creating a lasting impression and meaningful relationship with users, organizations can retain customers and create brand loyalty. Brand loyalty simply means that customers, when making a purchase to fulfill a given need, will default to their brand of choice. Brand of choice is something every organization wants to be, as the cost of maintaining loyal customers is much lower than the cost of acquiring new ones.

Brand Management Strategies

Loyal customers are cheaper, and happy customers are likely to talk about the company in a positive light. As a result, building brand is a key to success in an enormous number of industries. There are many approaches to this, both traditional and modern, and understanding both the strategy and the potential tactical channels available is integral to making smart branding decisions:

  • Individual Branding – This has proven highly beneficial for a number of large organizations that offer a wide variety of goods. Proctor and Gamble (P&G) is a classic example of this working successfully. P&G own the brands Dawn, Joy, Crest, Scope, Gain, Tide, Fixodent, Pepto-Bismol, Swiffer, Ivory, Olay, Old Spice, and the list goes on and on. Many of these products actually compete head to head. This strategy allows minimal risk of the parent company being hurt by an individual brand, and allows a sense of competition between brands. It also allows P&G to capture a variety of demographics simultaneously by positioning each brand to large consumer groups.
  • Multi-product Branding – The inverse of individual branding in some ways, multi-product branding allows companies like Samsung, Apple, Sony, and Virgin to focus consumer loyalty on the broader parent brand. Through doing so, all investments in branding boost the brand across all product spheres. This creates some efficiency in promoting brand, but also attaches all of the risk and positioning to that one single brand name.
  • Sub-branding – Something of a cross between individual and multi-product branding, sub-branding allows an organization to create relatively large sub-brands for given product groups. A good example is Honda and Acura, one is positioned in a higher price bracket yet both are Honda.
  • Co-branding – As the name suggests, often companies collaborate on projects and pursue branding together. For example, Bose is often co-branded with various vehicle manufacturers. Similarly, Google is often co-branded with Samsung products. This allows each organization to benefit from each other’s loyal consumer base.
  • Iconic Branding (Attitude) – A bit less clear than the strategies above, iconic branding is all about building a persona. This persona tends to arise through stories, establishing a counter-culture, and building a community. Nike’s brand is iconic, for example. By promoting the ‘Just Do It’ mentality, they sell a perspective alongside their products. Red Bull takes a similar approach, going so far as to sponsor amazing feats of athleticism and daring to demonstrate the values they represent. This type of branding is complex and extremely difficult to accomplish, but can build a powerful and loyal following.

Tactics and Developments in Brand Management

Social media has changed the landscape for branding, and at this point encompasses a critical and necessary series of channels to leverage when pursuing any of the above branding strategies. Distributing messaging and displaying the core values of the organization is both easier and more difficult than ever. In just a click of a button, organizations can make a huge impression on the general public. However, the   digital landscape is noisy; being heard can be extremely challenging.

Along similar lines is social proofing. Companies like Amazon offer consumers the ability to rate a product or service, which ultimately establishes a brand quality level many others consumers will trust and see as more objective. Social proofing can have an enormous impact on the perception of an organizations brand.

As a supplement to the various strategies listed above, these touch-points indicate where the tactics of these strategies will come into play. Understanding where the organization will be in direct communication with a prospective consumer is imperative to ensuring messaging is clean, consistent and clear across the board.

Brand Touch-point Wheel: As a supplement to the various strategies listed above, these touch-points indicate where the tactics of these strategies will come into play. Understanding where the organization will be in direct communication with a prospective consumer is imperative to ensuring messaging is clean, consistent, and clear across the board.

Packaging and Labeling

Packaging refers to the physical appearance of a product when a consumer sees it, and labels are an informative component of packaging.

Learning Objectives

Explain the important features of packaging

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The role of packaging in marketing has become quite significant as it is one of the ways companies can get consumers to notice products.
  • A common use of packaging is marketing. The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product.
  • Packaging is also used for convenience and information transmission. Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product.
  • Labels serve to capture the attention of shoppers as well as provide useful information regarding the product.
  • Labels are attached on the product package to provide information such as manufacturer of the product, date of manufacture, date of expiry, its ingredients, how to use the product, and its handling.

Key Terms

  • Packaging: Physical appearance of a good prepared for retail sale

Packaging

With the increased importance placed on self-service marketing, the role of packaging is becoming quite significant. For example, in a typical supermarket a shopper passes about 600 items per minute, or one item every tenth of a second. Thus, the only way to get some consumers to notice the product is through displays, shelf hangers, tear-off coupon blocks, other point-of-purchase devices, and, last but not least, effective packages. Considering the importance placed on the package, it is not surprising that a great deal of research is spent on motivational research, color testing, psychological manipulation, and so forth, in order to ascertain how the majority of consumers will react to a new package. Based on the results of this research, past experience, and the current and anticipated decisions of competitors, the marketer will initially determine the primary role of the package relative to the product. Should it include quality, safety, distinction, affordability, convenience, or aesthetic beauty?

 

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Various Packaging Designs, including labeling: Packaging refers to the physical appearance of a product when a consumer sees it, and labels are an informative component of packaging.

Common uses of packaging include:

  • Physical protection: The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, mechanical shock, vibration, electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature, etc.
  • Information transmission: Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments. Some packages and labels also are used for track and trace purposes.
  • Marketing: The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display, examples of which are shown here:.
  • Convenience: Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, re-closing, use, dispensing, reuse, recycling, and ease of disposal.
  • Barrier protection: A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or oxygen absorbency to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.
  • Security: Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage.

Labeling

A label is a carrier of information about the product. The attached label provides customers with information to aid their purchase decision or help improve the experience of using the product. Labels can include:

  • Care and use of the product
  • Recipes or suggestions
  • Ingredients or nutritional information
  • Product guarantees
  • Manufacturer name and address
  • Weight statements
  • Sell by date and expiration dates
  • Warnings

Symbols Used in Labels

Many types of symbols for package labeling are nationally and internationally standardized. For consumer packaging, symbols exist for product certifications, trademarks, and proof of purchase. Some requirements and symbols exist to communicate aspects of consumer use and safety. For example, the estimated sign notes conformance to EU weights and measures accuracy regulations. Examples of environmental and recycling symbols include the recycling symbol, the resin identification code, and the “green dot.”

Labeling Laws

žIn some countries, many products, including food and pharmaceuticals, are required by law to contain certain labels such as ingredients, nutritional information, or usage warning information (FDA). For example, a law label is a legally required tag or label on new items describing the fabric and filling regulating the United States mattress, upholstery, and stuffed article industry. The purpose of the law label is to inform the consumer of the hidden contents, or “filling materials” inside bedding & furniture products. Laws requiring these tags were passed in the United States to inform consumers as to whether the stuffed article they were buying contained new or recycled materials. The recycling logo,, needed to be displayed on the label. The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) is a law that applies to labels on many consumer products that states the products identity, the company that manufactures it, and the net quantity of contents.

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Labels Indicating Recycled Material: Laws were passed in the United States to inform consumers as to whether the stuffed articles they were buying contained new or recycled materials.