What Is A Brand? (With Components, Benefits And Types)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A brand is a company's reputation and reflects the relationship between a company and its existing customer base. Typically, the marketing department of a company creates a company identity, manages the brand and evaluates the perceived value of the public. If you are planning a career in marketing, then learning more about branding can help you create a positive public image for a company. In this article, we answer the question, ‘What is a brand?', explain why it is difficult to define it, list its components and types, discuss its importance and outline the steps to create a brand.

What Is A Brand?

The answer to the question, ‘What is a brand?' is that it is the personality and public image of a company, group, product or person. It combines different ways a company might represent itself to the target audience. A brand is a marketing concept that helps customers and others identify a product, company or individual. People might confuse brands with logos and other recognisable marks, which help promote goods and services. Brands are a company's most essential and valuable asset. Companies try to create and manage their brand to ensure that people or customers recognise them.

What Are The Critical Components Of A Brand?

Some key components of a brand are:

  • Brand definition: Brand definition describes what a company does, who it serves and what product or services it offers. Often, companies focus on creating a brand definition to inform people how they maintain elements of their brand.

  • Brand identity: Brand identity is a visible element of a brand, such as colour, design and logo, which identifies and distinguishes a brand in the consumer's mind. It is a collection of elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its customers.

  • Brand culture: Brand culture is the culture that a company cultivates and shares its values and missions with its target audience. A company's brand culture governs the brand experience, interaction, expression and interaction with the customers, employees and other stakeholders.

  • Brand positioning: Brand positioning defines how a brand might differ from its competitors and how it functions compared to similar companies and brands. A company's brand positioning can be negative or positive, depending upon how a customer view and interacts with a company's brand, websites, social profiles and products.

  • Brand targeting: Brand targeting determines the market segment you want to sell your products. This primarily includes segmenting the target market by identifying the characteristics like demographics and the interest of the target audience.

  • Brand promise: A brand promise is a business's unique value to its customers. It primarily includes the company's mission and vision statement and the brand's value proposition and principles.

Related: What Is Brand Positioning? (With Benefits And Tips)

Why Is It Difficult To Define A Brand?

Here are a few reasons why a brand is difficult to define:

Brands mean different things to different people

A single brand might mean something unique to every person, such as an existing customer, potential customer, recruit or employee. As brands are dynamic, they have different roles depending on whom and when they interact. Some customers or employees might connect with some aspect of a brand, while others might connect with another aspect. Successful brands focus on reaching different audiences who matter to their business and building relationships with each customer.

Brands have no definite form

A brand can provide a range of experiences and interactions, which might have infinite possibilities. Every touchpoint where customer interactions occur is essential for building strong relationships with customers. Even if a brand focuses on creating and following a brand architecture, a brand can accommodate growth and change. As a result, a brand can expand, develop, respond and shift with time, meaning that a brand might have no definite form.

Brands are about feelings which might get complicated

When you ask customers why they like a specific brand, often it is hard for them to explain their feelings and give a definitive answer. Though customers might provide logical reasoning, the customer's feelings toward a brand decide their future with a brand. To build strong customer relationships, brands ensure they provide great emotional meaning for people. This ensures that people love and respect the brands from which they purchase.

Related: What Is Brand Strategy? (6 Components And Its Importance)

What Are The Benefits Of Branding?

Some benefits of branding are:

  • Fosters customer loyalty: Customers might form a stronger relationship with a brand if they feel a sense of community and product value. Effective branding often provides more functional value and might encourage customers to purchase.

  • Establishes identity: Using specific marketing tactics and creating a public image relations campaign can help create and maintain a distinct public image. The brand identity is how the public associates with a company and its products.

  • Ensure employee satisfaction: When a brand develops and maintains a positive image, it can affect a company's work culture. This increases employee satisfaction and the company might hire and keep good employees.

  • Informs new customers: Branding can capture customers' interest in a product discovery phase and they might consider the products or services. It helps in making customers understand everything about a new or existing product.

Types Of Brands

Some types of brands a customer might choose to establish are:

  • Product brand: A product is a brand based on individual products a company offers to the customers. Branding might establish the product's value and help set customers' expectations.

  • Organisational brand: An organisational brand represents the image of a company. Often, a single company might manage several organisational brands of various services and products, so they own a parent company brand and various subsidiary brands.

  • Service brand: Like a product brand, a service brand depends on the services offered by the company. As services are less tangible than products, brands associate with positive emotions to develop and reach their customers.

  • Global brand: Global brands are household names and extremely famous on a global level. The business model of a global brand depends on familiarity, stability and availability.

  • Personal brand: When a person or individual has a brand, it is a personal brand. Such a brand is relevant if someone is a well-known and established person.

  • Emotional brand: Often, a company might use an emotional brand to build a relationship with a customer. For example, a jewellery brand relates its products to the feeling of love.

  • Luxury brand: Luxury brands are designer brands whose products serve as status symbols. These brands often use customer endorsements like stories and associations to connect with customers.

  • Geographic brand: A geographic brand associates the brand identity within a specific region and focuses on the people who live there. These brands primarily focus on local marketing tactics to reach their customers.

Related: What Is Brand Identity? With Elements And How To Develop It

How To Create A Brand

If you are a marketing professional or a senior manager of a company, you can follow these steps to create a brand:

1. Research the market

Understanding the industry, market and target customers is essential when building a brand for a company. With proper and in-depth research, companies can better understand their customers and their requirements. Market research is valuable and might involve analysing competitors' customer base and behaviour within the market.

Related: What Is Market Segmentation? (With Types And Benefits)

2. Analyse the service or product

When conducting a product or service analysis, consider the product's strengths and weaknesses to choose an effective branding strategy. After researching the market, focus on understanding the benefits and quality of the company's services and products. Knowing these benefits can help you use them in branding. For example, a jewellery company might brand itself as a feeling of love to target its customer base.

Related: What Are Brand Dimensions? Definition And Importance

3. Set goals

The next step is deciding what goals you want to achieve when creating a brand. For instance, one brand might want to establish itself as a luxury brand while another might focus on becoming a generic brand. Setting realistic and achievable goals can help you succeed and reach your target customer.

4. Choose a logo and slogan

An effective logo can help make a brand visually attractive and appealing to its target customers, while a slogan can make it easier for customers to remember the brand. A logo conveys the image and personality of a brand, while a slogan which is a short and catchy phrase, might make the brand more attractive. Typically, a professionally designed brand logo is tasteful, compelling and well-crafted.

5. Test your branding

Next, test the brand through its developmental phase by reviewing feedback from users before committing to a branding strategy. You can conduct surveys to determine how customers receive your branding strategies and tactics. This testing can help in improving your existing branding strategies.

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