Branding is the process of creating a unique image of a product or service by cutting a name for it and in the process engraving it in consumers’ minds. A strong brand is a valuable asset to a company used for the purposes of retention of customers.
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This implies that entities should invest time and resources in research and define appropriate market strategies that work for their firms. Branding ensures that a persistent and unique identity of the business products is maintained through distinguishing brand concepts (Hisrich, 2000).
Chain branding has a variety of benefits that entities achieve in terms of ensuring customer satisfaction and maintaining a competitive position within the markets of operation. There are several advantages that make chain branding a worthy investment. They include the following:
Remembrance and memorability
A good brand builds a desired reputation in the mind of a consumer. It ensures that goodwill is established. Goodwill is influenced by choice of brand made by the customer during selection. For this reason, it is important to appreciate that impacting the consumer positively will stimulate retention and remembrance (Gosche, 2009).
Loyalty and advocacy
Loyalty usually arises from the positive experience that customer has had with a brand. It emerges as a result of the fact that a positive emotional bond with the brand has been created. This enhances customer retention.
Reduced marketing expenses
Investing in a good brand will ensure that the company reduces on costs of marketing. This implies that the initial branding must be carefully crafted to eliminate any possibility of making mistakes in order to achieve desired targets. The company should simply ‘get it right’ the first time (Parsa & Kwansa, 2001).
Increase in profit margins and growth
Good branding leads to an increase in profits due to the fact that products are distinguished from competitor offerings. This arises from the benefits of having cut a niche for an entity in the market that does not match competitors. Good branding equally provides a platform for growth and may be a launch pad to expand.
Reduced risk (on part of the customer)
Taking the case of restaurants where health and sanitation are the key factors to success, customers would not want to experience ailments arising after a visit to a restaurant. In this case, the decision by a customer to go after a certain brand is based on decisions they have made on experience attained.
This gives the customer the confidence to choose a brand as they base decisions on past experiences; in this case it refers to experiences when they were satisfied.
Restaurant entities and brand definition
The food industry is filled with competition arising from so many aspects. There is a need to establish a balance for a good brand and define efforts to ensure brand superiority in the market. Based on the literature, it is evident that finding the best approach to branding a restaurant while ensuring that other attributes are maintained, and not crippled, is vital for a restaurants’ success in marketing (Fullen,2005).
The major brand attributes associated with restaurants include cuisine, costs, quality, ambience, service delivery, hospitality, decor and reservation benefits. Each of these brands attributes build on each other. Upgrading restaurant features to improve the brand necessitates a huge investment and re-assigning of monetary and non-monetary resources to get the right combination.
Restaurant owners must first understand which of the brand attributes are highly valued by the customer, and which distinguish their products from other competitors. The recognition factor must be defined through a brand personality that maintains trust and loyalty (Asperin, 2007).
In conclusion, finding the right mix of brand attributes is vital for success in business entities. To evoke a feeling of ‘my kind of restaurant’ in a market where restaurants compete on many platforms means three things must be adequately fulfilled in branding.
The brand should be consistent to ensure recognition and continued loyalty considering customer behaviour and through processes. It should also display clarity using well defined values and concepts. Lastly, the brand should have a desired level of credibility which is usually built on customer goodwill (Goodgold, 2011).
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Asperin, A. E (2007).Exploring Brand Personality Congruence: Measurement and Application in the Casual Dining Restaurant Industry. Proquest Publishers, USA.
Fullen, S. L (2005), Opening a Restaurant or Other Food Business Starter Kit. Atlanta Publishing Group, USA.
Goodgold, L (2011). Red Fire Branding: Creating a Hot Personal Brand so Customers can Choose You. Liz Goodgold, USA.
Gosche, T (2009).Your Complete Marketing and Branding Strategy. Gem Communications, USA.
Hisrich, R. D (2000). Marketing. Barrons Educational Series Inc, USA.
Parsa, H.g & Kwansa, F. A (2001). Quick service Restaurants, Franchising and Multiunit Chain Management. Routlege, USA.