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In marketing, brand is a word, term, symbol, or design, or a combination of two or more of these, used to identify a product or service of a seller, thus differentiating the product or service from others. Examples are Mustang, Pillsbury, and V-8. Trademark is the legal counterpart of brand, and the two terms are essentially synonymous. A brand name is that part of a brand that may be vocalized, thus "standing for" the product or service of the owner. It may include a word or letter or number, individually or in various arrangements.
A brand name has value to both the owner of the name and the consumer. For the owner it helps to stimulate buying, maintain prices, differ-, entiate products or services, aid promotional efforts, and maintain a corporate image. For the consumer, it helps to assure him of quality, and offers him the security, and sometimes the prestige, associated with the branded product or service and its owner.
Brands owned by manufacturers have been known traditionally as "national" brands (such as Kellogg, Coca-Cola or Canada Dry). Brands owned by distributors or middlemen, such as wholesalers and retailers, have been known traditionally as "private" (or "private-label") brands (such as Sears' Kenrnore and A & P's Eight O'clock Coffee). The real distinction is one of ownership. The adjectives "national" and "private" are not wholly accurate, in that some "national" brands are distributed and promoted regionally while some "private" brands are distributed and promoted nationally.