If we were playing Jeopardy, the right answer would have been: “What is branding?”
Beijing Olympics 2008 is one of the classical examples of branding at a global scale from the recent times. China spent north of $40 billion to link the idea of progressiveness and development to the country. The infrastructure improvements, the pollution control, the massive ceremonies and the security arrangements apart from a list of other things linked the idea of progressiveness and development to the product known as China.
Similarly, when a company tries to brand a product like face cream, they link the idea of beauty to the product. That sense of beauty is exposed in every bit of the product right from the formula that’s used to develop it to its packaging to the advertisements of the product. Everything together tries to deliver the same message to convince the customers.
Whether you are branding the most populous country in the world or a face cream or just water, it sums up to the simple process of linking ideas to product (or service). The logo, advertisements and customer service, all have their own roles to play when it comes to branding.
I believe there are two main purposes of branding. First is creating trustworthiness. Trust plays a major role in any decision a customer is making and that is one of the big goals behind branding. The second purpose behind branding is to create a community to back your product. Ideas are not attached by marketers alone, they are attached by consumers as well. And when consumers attach an idea with your product, it speaks much louder than you doing the same. So the goal here is to provide enough buzz and space for the mavens to pick up your product and take it from there to create more trust in the community and build your brand equity.