Branding (brand management) is the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. It seeks to increase a product’s perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. Marketers see a brand as an implied promise that the level of quality
people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future
purchases of the same product. This may increase sales by making a
comparison with competing products more favorable. It may also enable
the manufacturer to charge more for the product. The value of the brand
is determined by the amount of profit it generates for the manufacturer.
This can result from a combination of increased sales and increased
price, and/or reduced COGS (cost of goods sold), and/or reduced or more
efficient marketing investment. All of these enhancements may improve
the profitability of a brand, and thus, “Brand Managers” often carry line-management accountability for a brand’s P&L (Profit and Loss) profitability, in contrast to marketing staff
manager roles, which are allocated budgets from above, to manage and
execute. In this regard, Brand Management is often viewed in
organizations as a broader and more strategic role than Marketing alone.

The annual list of the world’s most valuable brands, published by Interbrand and Businessweek, indicates that the market value of companies often consists largely of brand equity. Research by McKinsey & Company,
a global consulting firm, in 2000 suggested that strong, well-leveraged
brands produce higher returns to shareholders than weaker, narrower
brands. Taken together, this means that brands seriously impact
shareholder value, which ultimately makes branding a CEO responsibility.

The discipline of brand management was started at Procter & Gamble PLC as a result of a famous memo by Neil H. McElroy.
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