The word brand has become the new buzzword across the globe. There are corporations, organizations, businesses and then there are brands. Everyone who knows and understands the branding aspect has got his or her version of the brand. Every definition leads to a similar meaning or a similar idea of branding which says, ‘Branding is the process of personifying any business.’
Ancient Egyptians first used the word brand around 2,700 BC. They used branding for their livestock. For example, when they were trading horses, they used different fire-heated marks on the horses to identify the owner. With time people started using the branding exercise to differentiate their product/services from their competitors, not only in terms of quality & price but, also in the context of that brand.
To understand ‘What is branding?’ first, let’s understand how business works? Any business is the transaction between two identities. Unless and until there is a transaction, it could not be considered as a business. There has to be a strong desire from both sides for this transaction to happen. The transaction may be in a tangible or intangible form.
Problems & needs give birth to innovations. Innovation then turns into business (product/service) and is available for everyone to consume. When the consumer demand increases, the need for the volume also increases. This demand motivates other business people to come out with their product, with very little changes or no changes at all and thus the competition is set. This competition not only causes the quality difference but also leads to the price war creating the red ocean. In this situation, most of the business people choose to give up as they cannot withstand the competition.
If you observe any business closely, you will see that, whenever there is a strong bond between the consumer and the service provider, that business has the maximum chances of winning. This means the consumer connects with the provider for the transaction to happen. When this connection is only need-based and there is no emotion in it, there are higher chances of ‘break-up’ as seen in the competition scenarios. The basic understanding says people connect with people better than the product/service. A material connection could be replaced with price but emotionally connect only grows stronger with trust. People talk to people, people build a relationship with people, and people do business with people. Therefore, when the business is personified and made into the brand, it simply connects you with your customer.