Alien vs. Predator and vice versa.
Trademark vs brand and vice versa. Product/service vs. brand and vice versa. Brand vs. product/service. Why do I mention all these combinations? Because a product/service is not equal/equivalent to a trademark and/or a brand. The chain starts with the product/service that is visually represented by certain signs, letters, colours, symbols which constitute the trademark (a registered one). There is a long way until it reaches the state of being a brand. To complete this evolutionary chain, the transition to brand status is achieved by acquiring knowledge, recognition and then reputation. Somewhere on the road between recognition and reputation begins the brand status of a product/service.
I want to clarify in a few words an extremely simple issue related to the transition from product/service to the brand. A new product launched on the market can never be called a brand, because it was not known, bought, loved or adopted by buyers until the time of its launch. Therefore, it did not withstand the time factor and it did not evolve on the market. So, if company X launches the product Y on the market tomorrow, the Branzas agency will not be able to write in the press release: “Branzas has launched the Y brand for company X” because it is totally incorrect. The correct alternative is “Company X launched product Y with the help of Branzas who developed (or designed) the product identity, the name and the line extensions with the assortments…” Or, “Branzas created the brand strategy, the name and drew the identity and packaging of the company’s new product line Y…” Or, “Branzas drew the product identity Y…”
It doesn’t seem to me just a matter of nuance or semantics, I personally think that precision and accuracy are essential in our job and that is why I think that saying “we have launched a new brand” is incorrect, at least from several points of view:
– ignorance of the notion of the brand or deliberate ignorance of the notion of the brand;
– misleading the customer and potential customers who may believe that once they are launched on the market, they become brands instantly;
– cheap PR for the “branding” agency, in order to accelerate the perception of potential customers on its potential.
However, what does brand strategy mean in this context where avoiding the notion of a brand is strictly essential from a strictly professional point of view? Brand strategy is the strategy by which the product (or service) could become a brand, during a certain time frame. Time is one of the key factors in the journey from product to brand.
Product identity is the sum of visual and verbal signs that represent a product and that have behind it the essence, attributes and values of brand strategy. It is not incorrect to use the notion of “brand identity”.
What is a brand? There are many definitions, and the most complete and acceptable seems to me the following: a brand is a sensation (the “gut feeling”) offered by a product or a service that goes beyond its tangible properties.
A new product/service, at the time of launch, is not a brand. What is more, a branding agency creates the brand potential of a product/service.