The meaning of “branding” nowadays

The word “brand” is an extraordinary example how language can change over time. Depending on the application of the word, its use can transform with a use for different purposes.

The origin of the word dates from Middle English when it referred to identifying something by a hot iron. Ranchers in the past used it to show ownership of animals. They would mark heads of the cattle and as it moved across the country for pasture, branding was an easy way to indicate who the animals belonged to. Later on, at the beginning of the 19th century branding started to be used for a specific type of goods. As soon as packed goods and mass production appeared on the market, the source or the manufacturer was put on the products.

For example, Levi Strauss is a very distinguished American clothing company that has been attracting customers for more than a century by their appealing logo. In this case the brand is a kind of non-generic name for a product that tells about the origins of the product. Levi`s are blue jeans created by a guy with the same name. Earlier these names were called “brand names” but today there is no difference between a brand name and the brand. For instance, the Italian chocolate producer Ferrero is a well-known brand and so is their brand name Tic Tack.

Actually the term brand name goes back to the beginning of 20th century when marketers became aware that the very product or service is more important than the sound of names. The name only speaks about the source of the product while the brand tells how people perceive the product and its worthiness. So they started aiming towards creating a particular perception among the customers about the quality and characteristics of the non-generic products or services. This is how the perception was named “the brand”. In other words, this feeling or perception is what people think of when they come across your brand name. It gives them the sense of knowing about you. It can be factual, like how your product looks like, a blog, a network service or any other form of marketing. Also, it explains the emotional side like what it offers-is it informational, entertaining and so forth. To put it simply, the brand name can be seen but the essence of the brand is held in people`s mind.

As the brand is growing and getting stronger the brand name may alter. Apple, the tech giant was initially called Apple Computers but later “computers” was dropped as more and more consumers adopted the more convenient variant “Apple”. Customers` perception is a very fragile issue. If people experience multiple advantages of a product or service they may use the brand name for a wide range of similarities. Take the example with Google. What do you do when you want to look up something online? You  just Google it.  This is what branding does nowadays- product, service, organization, cause, or ideas are not only identified by their names but the mindset of people using them.

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