Brand management 101 – understanding the different types of brands that exist

Most people often confuse a brand as a single entity. That is perhaps the biggest misconception. The meaning of the term “brand” as well as its use differs based on the context. In fact, brands are categorized in over 20 different ways, as is taught by media schools in brand management courses. So without further ado, let us look at various types of brands that exist.

Product brand: Product brands are those that elevate the perceptions of products or goods in such a way that an association is formed with an idea or emotion, exceeding the functional capability of the brand. Fast moving consumer good (FMCG) brands are a great example of product brands.

Service Brands: A brand that can add apparent value to services is known as a service brand. Developing service brands is way more challenging than developing product brands since the services offered are less tangible. Such brands often succeed through user experience and therefore, an immaculate strategic brand management process is required to build these brands. Jio mobile and Internet, Clear Trip, Online shopping websites are good examples of these brands.

Public brand: Public brands include global and government brands such as a nationalized bank, BHIM UPI App, IRCTC ticket booking website and so on. Facebook and Google are also examples of public brands. In most cases, these are brands that typically do not have consumer choice or competitive models attached to it. Despite that, these brands use the same methods and principles of brand strategies so that they can add stakeholders.

Personal brand: A personal brand is built around an individual who becomes synonymous with the brand. These brands are often associated with how an individual portrays and markets himself in order to enhance his/her career. Such brands typically add value but are formed without a business model. Louis Vuitton, Oprah Winfrey, Manish Malhotra are examples of personal brands. Personal brands can develop into luxury brands over time.

Corporate Brands: Corporate brands are also known as organizational brands. It takes a lot of strategic brand management to define a brand that can offer something that customers will purchase and use. Corporate brands are those that typically have a rich heritage along with capabilities and assets. They have a national or global frame of reference; SBI, TATA Group, Airtel and Infosys, for instance.

NGO Brands: Non-Governmental Organization or NGO brands; sometimes also referred to as non-profit brands are those that develop brand strategies based on a value model. They go beyond bottom-lines and fundraising so as to drive a social message. Popular NGO brands include PETA, WWF, Care and Live Love Laugh Foundation.

Generic brand: Once a brand that belonged to any of the above mentioned category, a generic brand is one that loses its inherent distinctiveness over a period of time. While it is etched into the user’s psyche for eternity, it doesn’t employ strategic brand management to enhance user experience. Google and Xerox are great examples of these brands.

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