Brands are Concepts which cannot be defined by the limited parameters of Markets
If you ask an ordinary person ‘what a brand is?’ he or she would perhaps recall a few product names that are stuck in his or her mind. What makes me wonder is what makes a brand get on top of his or her mind! Is it the usage, functionality or simply the look of it? Experts talk about brands getting into ‘the consideration set’ must be the key determinant factor towards brand preference. However in today’s context how many brands are there in a consumer’s mind and of course how many of their benefits are understood is the moot question.
Brands as I understand are relationships which you enjoy over time. Remember your first Titan. Recall the fun with your Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. How enjoyable has Amul Butter been, making your toasts that much better tasting with the masala omelettes during breakfasts every morning of your life. One can keep citing examples of many such brands with which your relationship has got cemented over time. The point is what makes these relationships work? Are they:
- Sheer Enjoyment
- Deep Trust
- Feel good factor
- Makes you comfortable
- Keeps you safe
It is clear that every brand has a role to play in the consumer’s life and consumers go back to those brands time and again because that special relationship they enjoy which is never replaceable by another. Many of us who has grown up flying with Indian Airlines (with all its faults) may never experience that same bond with a Jet Airways or an Indigo. Or even for that matter with Air India which was always there as a sister brand. It’s an extraordinary comfort that makes you feel happy or connected which another competitive brand may not ever help replace.
This is where brands play a larger role. It evokes certain thoughts or emotions which makes those brands more enduring. Brands personify some values, passion, culture, desire, belonging or self actualization which makes the user covet the brand. It becomes a path or a concept that defines why the user is hooked.
Concepts define Brands and put life into them making them vibrant & meaningful
So how can one define a market which is made of passion, of culture, of desire and so on. It’s a feeling and an emotion that brands can build upon. It’s a thought or an emotion that consumers can connect with. It like saying Beatles was popular because everyone understood Rock and Roll music. No Beatles was popular because people connected with their simple yet powerful messages in their songs which has made them enduring over generations of music lovers.
A brand is never built by just defining a target market but by understanding what makes the target consumers love your brand values. A brand that connects with some values are always the Winner!