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Brand is a combination of name, words, symbols, or design that identifies the product and its source and distinguishes it from competing products. A good brand name is short. It is unique and easy to remember. It indicates an important quality or image of the product. It can be protected and owned by a company. Brand value is of immense importance to a firm. Branding is at the heart of any business activity. Therefore, a company has to exercise full control over its brands.
When a manufacturer just manufactures the product and leaves the branding decisions to the retailer, then the brands developed by such retailers are referred as private brands. Private branding is a safe alternative for a firm operating internationally for the first time.
Pringles, Visa, Marlboro, Sony, McDonald’s, Nike, IBM, Gillette Sensor, Heineken, Pantene, and Disney are some of the better known global brands in the world. Global branding offers some significant advantages such as economies of scale. A company can market a single brand or multiple brands at the same time. It chooses to market a single brand when the brand needs exclusive attention, and multiple brands when the market is heterogenous and needs to be segmented.
Creating global brands may not always be possible. Even when it can be done, the expected benefits might not materialize due to practical difficulties. In such cases, the firm has to adapt other strategies like global brand leadership.
Global brand leadership involves using organizational structures, processes, and cultures to allocate brand-building resources globally, to create global synergies, and to develop a global brand strategy that coordinates and leverages country brand strategies. Attaining global brand leadership needs exchange of insights and best practices, a global brand planning process, good brand building strategies, assigning responsibility, and brand consolidation.
The creation of a brand is not enough. It should also be protected from various forms of piracy such as outright piracy, reverse engineering, counterfeiting, and passing off.