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That's right, Cdunn Economist, did your intern write this article? I expect a bit more professionalism, even if you are writing about marketing. Unilever, not a company name recognised by all that many people, is a master at branding. They understand and take advantage of the global marketplace they operate in, and own hundreds of ubiquitous brands. Having lived in Canada and New Zealand, two countries whose societies are similar but worlds apart, I've noticed the flexibility and brand mastery of Unilever and their direct competitors. An example is one of their staple cleaning products, a gritty "creme" cleanser called "Vim" in Canada, but "Jif" in New Zealand, and "Cif", "Viss" and "Handy Andy" elsewhere.

Same product pretty much , same logo elements and colours, but a different name to match their feeling of that market.

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Similar generic products it's not too hard to copy rarely make any headway. The article is seemingly a brief write-up about branding, targetted at non-management readers. To distinguish itself effectively and efficiently from other organizations, it is helpful to have some kind of shorthand: visual or verbal symbols, perhaps an icon that can be recognized and protected.

To make up another term for all this would seem perverse, as branding is already in existence.

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Rather, it is worth exploring why some people and organizations might have this aversion or misunderstanding and tackle the root cause. In the case of some arts and charitable organizations, there can be a problem with commercial overtones; for commercial organizations working in the business-to-business arena, or in heavy or technical services, there may be concerns that branding feels too soft and intangible to be relevant.

With the former, it is a harsh truth of the new arts and not-for-profit worlds that they are competing for talent, funding, supporters and audiences, and need to focus their efforts and investments with the effectiveness and efficiency that brand discipline brings. With the latter, there is nothing "soft about the financial value that strong branding brings, in all and any sector; nor is it "soft to use all possible competitive levers to gain every customer in a hypercompetitive international market.

Price will always be a factor in choice. But acting like a commodity, rather than a trusted and differentiated brand, will eventually lead only to the lower-price road to perdition. Business strategy is, or should be, brand strategy, and vice versa. Effective and efficient corporate governance is brand-driven governance.

Ancient and modern The Oxford American Dictionary contains the following definition:. Brand noun : a trade mark, good of a particular make: a mark of identification made with a hot iron, the iron used for this; a piece of burning or charred wood, verb : to mark with a hot iron, or to label with a trade mark.

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Piece of burning or smoldering wood, torch, literary ; sword poet. Stamp mark, object, skin ,with b. These two entries, in the order in which they list the definitions and in the definitions themselves, illustrate how, over 50 years, the primary use of the word "brand now has a commercial application. However, the definitions also underline a common origin.

Product power or people power

Almost irrespective of how the word is used today, it has always meant, in its passive form, the object by which an impression is formed, and in its active form, the process of forming this impression. The world has changed. There are far more choices, but there is less and less time to sort them out. There are, for example, dozens of car manufacturers, hundreds of car models, and thousands of different vehicle specifications to choose from; the days when Henry Ford offered "any color you want as long as it's black are now long gone.

Behind the brand: The Economist

This diversity of choice puts pressure on those making or selling products or services to offer high quality, excellent value and wide availability. It also puts pressure on them to find more potent ways of differentiating themselves and securing a competitive advantage. According for Fortune magazine in : In the twenty-first century, branding ultimately will be the only unique differentiator between companies. Brand Equity is now a key asset. This book argues that because of this and because of the power of not-for-profit brands like the Red Cross or Oxfam, all organizations should make the brand their central organizing principle, guiding every decision and every action.

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  7. As well as making the case for brands and examining the argument of the antiglobalization movement that big brands are bullies which do harm, Brands and Branding provides a review of best practices in branding, covering everything from brand positioning to brand protection, visual and verbal identity to brand communications. Finally, the third part of the book looks at trends in branding and the future for brands.

    The Challenges Of Branding At The Economist

    Written by seventeen experts in the field, Brands and Branding sets out to provide a better understanding of the role and importance of brands, as well as a wealth of insights into how one builds and sustains a successful brand. Tweet Share Share.