Branding means giving a trade name to a particular product so that the consumer is able to distinguish this product from other similar products.
The American Marketing Association has defined a brand as a name, term, symbol or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.
A brand may consist of a word, a symbol or a number.
The idea behind branding is to distinguish one product from other products in the same line and to popularise it among consumers. Mass advertising media helps in popularising certain products. The consumers become familiarised with particular brands of products.
Branding of products may be done in three ways:
(a) Symbols and marks may be used as brands such as Lotus ghee, Capastan cigarettes etc.
(b) Special names may be used for branding the products, i.e., Liril Soap, Close-up tooth paste, Dalda ghee, etc.
(c) The third method of giving brand names is the use of names of manufacturers along-with the products.
Bata shoes, Godrej furniture, H.M.T. watches etc. are some of the examples in this category. Though branding is helpful in popularising certain products it places responsibility on producers too. The producers must ensure a better quality for their products otherwise the consumers will reject those products. So a brand can survive only with standard quality products.
While giving brand names certain things should be kept in mind: the brand name should be easy to spell and remember. A brand name should be attractive and suggestive about the qualities of the product. A brand name should remain constant for fairly a long period so that it becomes familiar with the consumers.