About brand and branding
There are lots of definitions out there of what a brand is. David Oglivy, one of the venerable fathers of modern branding and advertising defined it this way: "The intangible sum of a product's attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it's advertised." David A. Aaker, generally regarded as the world's leading academic authority on branding strategy is saying "A company's brand is the primary source of its competitive advantage and a valuable strategic asset".

Given that it's so difficult to define a brand, is it no wonder that building and creating a brand is no easy accomplishment. Still, when it comes to reasoning about a brand a few thinks are quite instantly recognizable and unambiguous. From the moment a customer looks at a Web site, holds a brochure or a product, walks into a showroom or a store, he or she begins to form an opinion about that company's value, about its brand. In today's world, where consumers are presented with multitude of choices for each group of products or services and have less and less time to consider them, the brand is the only "Instrument" that help them make that key buying decision. They value everything a brand stands for, from the emotional benefits to how a brand differentiates itself from the competition as well as for the ease of making the right choice over several options.

An effective brand creates an allegiance between the company and its customers, leaving customers unresponsive to all the advertising and marketing efforts of its competitors. It is most successful and most profitable when it is based on a honest strategic assessment of the company, a concrete research that targets a specific market and when it has a positioning statement with a clear message that is creatively communicated in front of the company's own people, best current and potential customers and to the media. A successful brand has universal appeal, the ability to survive through time.

The brand lives in all members of the organization and its performance is measured and recorded in every concurrence with its employees, business partners and most importantly with its customers and the media. Before finalizing a business strategy, before marketing, product development, manufacturing, distribution, advertising and media communications, the brand must be build as a catalyst to the business goals and as the connective platform of the organization. The brand is ultimately your reputation. It begins with the promise you make and therefore, the promise you must keep.

Even though branding impacts every single aspect of a business, it remains one of the most misunderstood business domains of all. In the absence of a brand a business can function and even prosper to a certain degree but it is nonexistent from the standpoint of the market place and of the competition. Without a strong brand nobody knows who you are or why a customer should remain loyal to you.

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