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Branding Policy in Marketing
One of the prime objectives of branding in marketing is to generate or increase recognition of a product or of information pertaining to its various aspects. Branding has, therefore, become an important element in the overall marketing strategy of a firm. It goes without saying that the brands that are most widely recognized have a large market share than the less important ones. A definite brand policy is called for if the market potency of a firm is not to be blunted. While deciding on a brand policy, the manufacturer should give due consideration to the following:
- Will there be a family brand for all types of products or a special brand for each type of product?
- Will the company concentrate on a single brand, or will multiple brands be utilized for increasing its market share?
- Will the manufacturer make products for a private brand similar to those bearing its own brand name.
- Will a national brand policy be followed?
Types of Branding Policies
1. Family Brand name policy:
A family brand is used by firms that offer all their merchandise under one name. A product line containing closely-related products are quite often sold under one brand name. The IBM in the USA, Tatas, Modis and Mafatlal in India follow the family brand name policy.
Family brand name such as Lakme or Ponds for cosmetics, Dipys for fruit squashes and syrups, Bakeman’s for confectionery, Dabar for Ayurvedic medicines are quite popular. When a family brand is successfully advertised, a favorable reaction to one item often leads to an increase in the sale of the product line. Contrary to this, an unfavorable experience may set the consumer against the entire product line. Due care must, therefore, be taken to ensure that all items of a family brand must meet the consumer’s expectations.
Products lacking common marketing attributes are usually sold under individual brands, for nothing can be gained from their joint association with one single brand. At times, there may be an adverse reaction to sales resulting from the family branding. For example, there is no point in putting vegetable ghee, detergent or soap under a family brand. This is obvious from the branding policy of Hindustan Unilever, where every item is sold under an individual brand name. Here, vegetable ghee is sold under the brand name of Dalda, washing powder under the brand name of Surf, detergent soap under the brand-name of Rin.
2. Single Brand and Multiple Brand
In order to strike a greater market penetration some manufacturers employ a multiple brand strategy. Under this strategy, they market two or more products that are labelled under different brands but are designed to appeal basically to the same category of customers.
- Hindustan Unilever is selling various toilet soaps under different brand names.
- Malhotras market shaving blades under different brand names.
In such cases, each of these brands competes with the other brand. The decision to have separate brands or to stick to one single brand depends on whether different brands have developed dissimilar images that appeal to different market segments.
3. Mixed Branding
Manufacturers may adopt a strategy of marketing a part of their output under the brands of one or more middlemen. By following this policy, the manufacturer can grab a larger market share, besides strengthening his financial status. Where the policy of private branding is adopted, both the manufacturer and the middlemen are expected to take a policy decision.
The middlemen must give due consideration to the fact that they would be able to sell and compete with the manufacturers’ brand. Manufacturers, too, must be able to evaluate whether they would be able to compete with the middleman’s brands which sell at a lower price. Such a policy is usually adopted for the sale of hosiery, woolen and sports goods, etc.
4. National or Manufacturer’s Brand
The policy of having a national brand is followed by producers who enjoy wide geographical distribution. The national or manufacturer’s brand is a brand used by the producer who enjoy a wide geographical distribution. “This they are able to achieve because they have a high annual sales value, extensive warehousing and physical distribution facilities; the capacity and experience in conducting marketing operations, which include maintaining a large sales force and conducting comparative and national advertising programmes; continued consumer and marketing research programmes and maintaining extensive warranty and service programmes.”
Because of these facilities, companies using national brands can easily compete with others. National brands, once acceptable to the consumer, bring large profits to the distributors and the product. Secondly, such brands help merchandise a product, because promotional campaigns can be developed around the brand.”