“Wow!! What a nice bag.” I exclaimed.
“Thanks…..that’s CHANEL” she said.
“Whoa! That must have cost you a fortune.”
“Sure, but I just love CHANEL.”
That sounds about crazy right, spending hundreds not if thousands on a bag? I mean it’s just a bag after all. It might be just a bag for you and me but for my friend and people like her? NO! It’s more than a mere bag, it’s about the “brand” rather just the product.
People often confuse between brand and a product. Here, in this case, it is not about “bag – the product” but about “Chanel – the brand”. But why go for costlier version when you can get the same thing for just few bucks? Because it’s about the emotional attachment and personal experience with the brand.
So, you see, there are differences between brand and product. A product is created by the company whereas the customers create the brand.
According to Wikipedia, “a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.” Whereas a brand is a combination of emotions, wants and promise made by the company to its customers.
Products are all about what they do for people. Products fulfill a customer’s needs. Functions, ingredients and needs – that’s what makes up a product. Brands are actually quite different from products because they don’t just cover a customer’s needs, they fulfill a customer’s wants.
We don’t fall in love with products – we fall in love with brands. Brands offer a promise and an emotion. Brands are about how they make people feel. Brands fulfill a customer’s wants.
A product can be your need, but the brand is something more than that. Like it is your need to wear outfits and footwear, but it is your want to wear outfits of Gucci and footwear of Nike.
A product can be copied by competitors any time but it is impossible to copy a brand. You might have tried potato chips of several brands but there is always a specific that is to die for – better than all the other. Organizations have been competing by copying each other’s products because they cannot reproduce the brand, which is a legal trademark.
Product can become outdated quickly but a brand is forever. In such a case every product needs to be reinvented or regenerated, to attract the target audience. Remember when you used to listen songs and watch movies on CDs and DVDs player? Brands like Panasonic, Sony were prominent in manufacturing such products. Today, we might not use these products but these brands still remain timeless.
Brands don’t get to see success overnight like the products do. Like Starbucks, for example was not a coffee shop to begin with. It was actually a company that sold coffee beans and espresso machines. But later on, it came up with the idea of selling excellent coffee made by the excellent Starbucks machine and after that their success knew no bounds.
There are companies who are still selling the same products today as they were in 1905. But how do they survive? They understand that, even though their products may be just as prevalent and useful as they were over a hundred years ago, the way they market their products needs to constantly adapt to their ever changing audience.
Bernard Kelvin Clive, once said, “The world is fast changing and until you learn to adapt and adjust to stand out from the masses, you will fade into oblivion.”