A guide to resources and search tips for finding information and data about brands

Important Definitions

BRAND: identifying mark, symbol, word(s), or combination of same that separates one company's product or services from another firm's. Brand is a comprehensive term that includes all BRAND NAMES and TRADEMARKS.

BRAND ASSOCIATION: degree to which a particular BRAND is associated with the general product category in the mind of the consumer (share of mind). Often a consumer will ask for a product by the specific brand name rather than the general name—for example, a person wanting facial tissues may ask for Kleenex. When this happens, the consumer is making a brand association.

BRAND ATTITUDE: opinion of consumers toward a product determined through market research. The BRAND ATTITUDE will tell what people think about a product or service, whether the product answers a consumer need, and just how much the product is wanted by the consumer. Knowledge of brand attitude is very helpful in planning an advertising CAMPAIGN.

BRAND AWARENESS: having knowledge of the existence of a BRAND. Because brand awareness is considered the first step in the sale, the primary goal of some advertising CAMPAIGNS is simply to make the TARGET MARKET aware that a particular brand exists. Often, this effort alone will sell the product (or service).

BRAND CATEGORY: generic classification of products or services. Similar and competing products (or services) all fall into the same brand category. For example, all the different perfumes fall into the brand category of perfume because they all satisfy the same consumer need.

BRAND DEVELOPMENT: measure of the infiltration of a product's sales, usually per thousand population. If 100 people in 1000 buy a product, the product has a brand development of 10.

BRAND DEVELOPMENT INDEX (BDI): percentage of a brand's sales in an area in relation to the population in that area as compared to the sales throughout the entire United States in relation to the total U.S. population. For example, if Brand X has 15% of its U.S. sales in Area A, in which 20% of the U.S. population lives, the BDI for Area A is 75. The BDI allows the media planner to see the concentration of current customers of a brand on a market-by-market basis and thus concentrate advertising dollars in the markets where the brand enjoys the most usage.

BRAND FRANCHISE: 1. arrangement between a brand name manufacturer and a wholesaler or retailer that gives the wholesaler or retailer the exclusive right to sell the brand manufacturer's product in a specific territory. This arrangement is usually done by contractual agreement over a period of time. A brand franchise allows the wholesaler or retailer to sell the product in a noncompetitive market and therefore to set price limitations as the traffic will bear. 2. loyalty toward a brand by consumers. See also BRAND LOYALTY.

BRAND IMAGE: qualities that consumers associate with a specific BRAND, expressed in terms of human behavior and desires, but also related to price, quality, and situational use of the brand. For example: A brand such as Mercedes Benz will conjure up a strong public image because of its sensory and physical characteristics as well as its price. This image is not inherent in the brand name but is created through advertising.

BRAND LOYALTY: degree to which a consumer repeatedly purchases a BRAND. For advertisers to achieve their ultimate goal of brand loyalty, the consumer must perceive that the brand offers the right combination of quality and price. Many factors influence brand loyalty, such as consumer attitudes (see BRAND ATTITUDE), family or peer pressure, and friendship with the salesperson. The advertiser must consider all such factors. The degree of brand loyalty—that is, the brand's MARKET SHARE—is known as the brand franchise. Brand loyalty is stronger on established products than on new products. See also BRAND SWITCHING.

BRAND MANAGER: marketing manager for a BRAND; also called product manager. This person makes most of the advertising decisions for that brand. Often in a company with many different brand name products, each product will have a brand manager compete with the others as if the products were competitive. Each may use a different advertising agency, and each will have a separate advertising budget. This system is advantageous for the company because all products within the company should receive equal attention. Any problems that arise for individual products should receive prompt responses, and advertising opportunities for the products will be quickly seized.

BRAND NAME: that part of a BRAND, TRADEMARK, or SERVICE MARK that can be spoken, as distinguished from an identifying symbol. A brand name may consist of a word, letter, or group of words or letters.

BRAND POTENTIAL INDEX (BPI): relationship between a brand's MARKET DEVELOPMENT INDEX and BRAND DEVELOPMENT INDEX (BDI) in a particular market area. The brand potential index is used to predict future sales and to aid in planning future advertising budget allocations.

BRAND PREFERENCE: selective demand for a company's brand rather than a product; the degree to which consumers prefer one brand over another. In an attempt to build brand preference advertising, the advertising must persuade a TARGET AUDIENCE to consider the advantages of a brand, often by building its reputation as a long-established and trusted name in the industry. If the advertising is successful, the target customer will choose the brand over other brands in any category. See also BRAND SWITCHING.

BRAND SHARE: amount of dollars spent by consumers on a particular brand as compared to the amount of dollars spent by consumers on all competitive brands in the same category, figured in terms of percentages; also called market share, share of market. Companies set marketing goals to achieve a specific brand share, and plan their strategies to meet those goals.

BRAND SWITCHING: consumer decision to purchase a product brand different from that previously or usually purchased. Brand switching can be instigated by price promotions, in-store displays, superior availability, perceived improvements or innovations in competitive brands, desire for NOVELTY, number of available brands, perceived risk, frequency of purchase, changes in quality, or level of satisfaction with the most recent purchase. Brand switching is most common with products that have no great perceived variation in quality across brands such as bottled water, dairy products, or paper towels. See also BRAND LOYALTY.