Brands have been defined as per three different approaches as discussed under:
1. Visual elements: As per this definition, brands are visual elements which help in stimulation of demand for the product. Such elements are usually covered by trademarks, intellectual property rights and the legal rights. These visual elements and trademarks carry brand value and goodwill which is associated with the product or service.
2. Bundle of intellectual property and trademarks: As per this definition, brands cover a gamut of intangible assets which include formulae, design rights, copyrights, domain names, etc. Thus this is regarded as 360 degree view that deems brand value as a function of all intangible assets that work in tandem with each other.
3. Holistic brand: The brand value is measured at the company level and is not merely limited to the level of individual products. The legal rights which are combined with the culture of the company and the loyalty of the customer defines brands as per this approach.
A wide variety of concepts have been put forward by several practitioners of the notion – brand. Brand is not just a tool or a one time technique. It is an ever evolving strategy that calls for constant innovation. The concept of the term brands has been in existence since several years (Moore and Reid 2008), but the recent notion of the concept of brands became instrumental in the late 19th century with the introduction of trademarks as well as attractive packaging ideas (Fullerton 1988; McCrum 2000). Brands were re-positioned as ‘a guarantee of authenticity’ (Feldwick, 1991). As per The American Marketing Association (AMA, 1995), the concept of brands focused on the tangible attributes that served as points of differentiation.
A more formal definition of the concept has been given by Woods (2000) who defines brands as a name, sign, term, design, symbol or some combination of these attributes that are intended to uniquely identify the products as well as services of a particular seller or group of sellers. Branding serves to differentiate a company’s offering from those of its competitors. In other words, a brand is a distinctive identity as well as promise that provide benefits to the consumer. Branding is an exercise that is conducted with the intent to manipulate and create the perception pertaining to a particular product/service in the customer’s mind, as to whether the strategy initiates a sense of value creation in the minds of the customer, so that the consumer views the product/offering as being worth and finally acts in terms of planning and actually purchasing the product. Thus the brand experiences as well as the brand’s identity need to be strategically managed because it is an implied fact that a consumer can be easily convinced to pay out a differential price premium for a superior brand in the process of associating himself/herself with the attributes of the brand (Sasscer, 2009).