One of the first uses of branding was seen on
large farms where the cattle were physically └branded' with a
sign burnt onto their skin so farmer X knew which were his cows
and which were not, by the marking on the animal.
The concept has moved on a lot from this simple labelling showing
ownership device. However, modern day marketers still use this
ownership device. There are lots of examples where a brand reminds
you who owns it; so we see chocolate from Cadburys, a new film
from Disney, and the latest perfume from Chanel. Here the brand
owners want to reassure us about the offering, źit must be good
itís from Cadburysí!
Contemporary roles given to branding are sophisticated. Brands
are now symbolic of the lifestyles of consumers. Purchasing and
consuming them are ways we communicate to others what kind of
person we are / want to be / wish we were. Fashion brands, music,
mobile phones and even holiday resorts all thrive on this kind
of symbolic branding.
Animal, Just Add Water and FCUK are all examples of brands gaining
success primarily by offering consumers the ability to say things
about themselves. If you are not convinced, ask yourself would
you be happy to go to a night-club in a Marks and Spencers pullover
and a pair of Asda jeans?
Much current debate about brands is related to this idea that
a persons own self-identity and social identity is helped through
the brands they choose to own. Self-identity is about what a person
thinks about himself or herself and social-identity is about what
they believe other people think about him or herself. The difference
here are subtle but important, some brands are better able to
project an image than others.
Some brands will be considered very personally relevant to some
consumers and so perform the self-identity task better. Arguably,
the fact that consumers are often not seen by their friends when
consuming services means that these brands might relate more to
self-identity (what sort of holiday best reinforces the sort of
person I think I am?). Although clearly social-identity may influence
the type of credit card you own and we might imagine that part
of the pleasure of a business class flight is walking past other
flyers to check in at the 'red carpeted' check in desk and into
the 'reserved' departure lounge.
Perl, Regional Director of Marketing
(EMEA), Cunard Line Seaborne Cruise Line.
Brace, Sales & Marketing Manager,
Bournemouth International Airport.