A brand is essentially something that resides in the minds of consumers through a tedious process called ‘positioning’. Successfully employed postioning and communication strategies envisage a product or service into a brand. The question as to whether everything can be branded needs some exemplifying of some behemoth brands that represent the ‘everything’ that we are referring to. We can recognize the universality of branding by looking at some different product applications in diverse categories – physical goods, services, retail stores, online business, people, organizations, places, and ideas. Let us take a look at some of the categories and the successful brands that exist in them.
When we talk about airline services, we often tend to recall Southwest Airlines which has branded itself as the cheap fare and no-frills service that has been unbeatable over the years. Google (online product) has ruled the online business since years with its search engine whose mission is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally applicable’ and boy aren’t they doing it with immense success. When we ask for the best retail store, we can only find Wal Mart to be the answer since it is the only retail brand that there is which owns over 5000 stores and that innovatively introduced the EDLP (Everyday Low Pricing). Talk about the best educational channel and National Geography pops into our heads, an NGO which also sells magazines, maps, books, etc. Even sports can be branded and the best instance is Manchester United which is the favourite football club of many. The club is also a huge brand which is worth more than $750 million and this worth increases as and when the team performs well and wins as many championship titles as possible.
It should hence be understood that in reality everything is and can be branded. You’ll as well are in fact brands too as people possess attributes that differentiate themselves from others and hence become a brand. Some of the renowned people brands could be Warren Buffet (richest man, Obama (first black U.S. President), Kishore Biyani (retail King), etc. However, the degree of strength of every brand that exists is variable i.e. some brands are strong and some are weak which depends on the branding strategies adapted.