In recent years, the fashionable word "brand" has become firmly established in modern everyday life. Whether it is a student with a modern phone or a serious businessman, both of them freely use this term, sometimes putting completely different concepts into it.
Numerous versions associate the origin of the word “brand” with almost ancient sources, but the term was first widely used, perhaps, only in the Wild West. Then "brand" meant a brand burned out to further identify the ownership of cattle. The word acquired a broader meaning somewhat later.
Often brand (or "brand" - a matter of preference) is identified with such concepts as "trademark" and / or "trademark". However, is this true?
Can any trademark be considered a full-fledged brand? It is noteworthy that an unambiguously negative answer in this case is unlikely to be true.
What is a trademark?
This is a set of clearly differentiated features subject to state / international registration and, if necessary, protection in the manner prescribed by law. Trademark and trademark is a recognizable image that symbolizes a product, service or other phenomenon, fonts, colors, etc. associated with this product.
An alphanumeric product name may well be officially registered as a trademark, but it may not become a real brand. Or become.
A typical example from the relatively recent past is the American M16 assault rifle, an abbreviation that is unintelligible at first glance. If there hadn’t been a war in Vietnam, if there hadn’t been Hollywood films and books by top authors praising this weapon, the M16 brand and its “civilian” version of the AR-15 would never have become.
What is a brand?
Unlike a trademark, a brand is a broader concept that, according to some experts, even has a deep philosophical meaning.
This is the image of the company, stripes on the uniform of Formula 1 pilots, logos on T-shirts, music from commercials and freaks ready to get tattooed with the logo of their favorite manufacturer. In a sense, this is a distorted and supplemented by numerous auxiliary elements, the projection of the trademark on the mass consciousness.
Its integral parts can even be called negative aspects associated with a particular product. It is worth recalling the experience of dissolving Mentos in Coca-Cola, as a result of which the liquid shoots out of the bottle in a meter-long fountain. The trick itself is quite funny, if you do not know that at least one person has already died from such a mixture. This also includes a Chinese guy who sold a kidney just to buy an iPad for himself - a real brand has skeletons in the closet, although the owners, of course, try to keep such excesses to a minimum.
The brand is recognizable, the brand itself serves as an incentive for the purchase of a particular product and in itself is a source of income growth for the owner. However, that is why it requires a constant investment of financial or other resources, a constant reminder of the target audience of its existence.
It gets ridiculous. A characteristic humorous example is the picks on advertising posters. Mercedes, bmw and Audi, in their advertising not only reminding of the merits of their products, but also not missing the opportunity to prick the competition. The same sin, for example, Pepsi and Coca Cola.
Where is the boundary between the real world and virtual reality?
Most market experts agree on one thing - a "brand" is actually a virtual phenomenon, a general set of ideas about a particular product (if we understand the word "product" in an expanded sense, including products, services, etc.). In fact, this is a "legend" that often has little to do with reality. They say about the brand, it has its fans and enemies, it is constantly present in the information space and, by the mere fact of its existence, affects serious business processes in its market niche.
Recall that top companies like Coca-Cola, Google и Microsoft are estimated at tens of billions of dollars, while the lion's share of the value falls on the brand itself - up to 60% and more! The production facilities themselves, paradoxically, often cost much less.
Summing up, we note. Any brand implies a trademark. Not necessarily officially registered and associated with a "physical" product. The name of a politician or a social movement may well act as a trademark.
However, not every trademark is a brand. To create a real, selling “legend”, the owners have to make great efforts, sometimes on a planetary scale.