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When we talk about brands that are well defined and brands that are well understood, we are talking about two different kinds of brand. It takes exceptional intelligence to create a brand that combines the two elements. It is important to know why are we discussing this particular point of view. It is believed that power is the ruling element. Without power there is no success. If your brand is not powerful, it won’t stand tall in the competition. This particular POV tangibly opposes the above stated belief. You can stand out even if you are not ruling the market. It can happen only when you realize that there is more to just being powerful. It depends on whether you want to rule the head or the heart. Scott D. Cook, Director of e-bay and Procter and Gamble once said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.” These few words actually define the difference between the two kinds of brand. Let us take two examples, one of each kind. A brand that is successfully defined could be Micromax and a brand that is successfully understood could be Parle. In this article, only Parle-G biscuits will be taken as an example for convenience.

Defined or Understood!

Idea of brand definition- For a brand that is well defined like Micromax, the definition of branding is quite professional in nature. For them branding is ‘the perceived image created by a brand and the subsequent response to its products and services.” Contrastingly, for a brand that is well understood like Parle, branding is a promise to deliver an unforgettable experience, a feeling that they would like to go through eternally.

Creating a perception– A brand that is well-defined is like a dictator and hence, powerful. It creates its own image by dictating the audience what they should see and feel and understand. It doesn’t allow perception, rather creates a collective perception. On the other hand, a brand that is well understood is like a leader. It allows individual perception to evolve gradually. It understands its prospective customer and like a leader builds its own image based on the vision designed by its audience.

Brand identity- It is something that you can control. The colours you use, the name you chose, the logo you design, your marketing techniques, the values you promote. It is something you define. It is the voice of your brand.

  • A brand like Micromax would create an identity that develops a very professional relationship with the consumer, something that is mutually beneficial. It focuses on providing customer satisfaction at the cost of a reasonable charge. If a consumer is not satisfied, he can switch to another brand. It creates brand loyalty on the basis of its services.

  • On the other hand, a brand like Parle develops a strong bond with its consumers. It brings home a feeling of attachment, of a legacy being passed on. Its consumers are more like a loyal Parle family. There are many households that still consume Parle-G biscuits despite being spoilt for choice because it has become a family tradition. Something that they are attached to. It doesn’t have a very strong marketing strategy. It still thrives on the same tagline we have been hearing since our childhood, “Parle-G- G maane Genius.” The tagline is not very competitive in terms of advertising strategy, but we don’t care. This is how a brand that is understood stands out.

Brand positioning- As the name suggests, it is about the position of the brand in the minds of the consumers as well as the market. Where does your brand stand globally or nationally, who are your competitors and what differentiates you from them. What are your strategies and how does that strategy help you in positioning yourself above your competitors etc.

  • Micromax, the biggest domestic mobile company, had understood the Indian market. They analysed that, in our country affordability is a big challenge for majority. So, they planned their strategy around price-sensitive consumers. They were delivering competitive handsets in affordable prices and their strategy was working quite well until a flurry of Chinese handset makers (Xiaomi, Gionee, Oppo, One Plus) entered the market to offer something better at similar rates. For a well-defined powerful company, something very predictable happened. It saw its revenue plunging down gradually. It is now planning to enter the electronics market to cover up for the rest.

  • There are innumerable fancy competitors like many imported biscuit brands or even some ultra large local biscuit brands with a very strong marketing strategy competing against Parle-G. All these competitors have a supreme quality packaging, variety of flavours, celebrity endorsements and massive advertising and marketing campaigns. Parle-G has unbelievably been surviving this cut-throat competition without really upgrading anything apart from the cost. It still has the same yellow and white striped cover with a little girl’s picture. It has become like a trademark identity for them. With the prices of raw-materials soaring over the years, the company had to increase the cost. But since they have been harping on the affordability factor themselves the prices are still attractive to low and middle-income groups. It is loved by kids all over the country and has been able to generate increasing revenue over the years.

So, what brand do you want to be ? A well defined one, or a well understood one.

In both the cases, we at The Go-To Guy! can help you walk the talk!