Today's global market witnesses
a cut-throat competition. Many new products enter the market, stay for a while,
and then go obsolete. Fads come into existence and vanish even quicker than
they appear. Rapid changes in the consumers' choices, increase in their
disposable income, globalization, media exposure, and influence of global and
psychological trends attribute to this behavior. In order to sustain
themselves in the market, it is necessary for every manufacturer to build a 'brand
image' for his product in the market. This is more important for apparel makers
as garments have a short life cycle and trends keep changing every now and
then. Brands create the strongest competitive advantage for the manufacturer,
and the retailer.
To compete in the domestic as
well as the global market, creating, and sustaining a strong brand image is
necessary. Some apparel makers attempt to create a brand for their product in
the global market, while many others just supply to international buying houses
or retail chains according to their specifications. Branded apparels not only
add a stylish image to the apparel, but it also gives something extra to the
consumers. It enables them to create perceptions about the value of the apparel
and the brand itself. The value of the brand or the 'brand equity' is the
difference of cash the customer pays for a non-branded garment, and a branded
one. The customer can buy a similar apparel somewhere else; without the label
and for a lesser price as well. But, a branded apparel with a label on it gives
a status symbol to the customer thus satisfying his ego. The reputation that
the brand image carries helps in promoting the product among status savvy
is in a Brand?
Strategic thinking is required in
the creation of brands. Customers do not evaluate a product in all the
parameters while shopping. A psychological approach is required to build faith
in the minds of the consumer and make them believe that the particular brand is
always associated with quality. Once customers develop faith in a particular
brand, they do not evaluate their notion every time when they go for shopping. Buying
a particular branded apparel every time reduces their searching time, and also
gives them a mental satisfaction that they are only buying quality apparels.
A brand generally consists of the
Branding helps the retailer to 'push'
the customer into sales. For example, if the customer is not confident about
the quality of the fabric, he may hesitate to buy the apparel. He will assume
it is risky to buy the product. On the contrary, if the garment has a label
mentioning a renowned brand name, it gives confidence to the consumer and makes
him to believe that he is buying a quality product. Here, the brand name speaks
the goodwill the company has created over the years, and motivates the consumer
to take the purchase decision. Branding highlights the positive features of the
product and displays it 'Out of the Box' in the consumer's eyes, thus
encouraging him to buy.
Our society contributes to some
facts about every product over the years. During the course of time, these
facts make the image of a product, thus building a strong brand. 'Brand' does
not essentially mean a logo or a name, it's the confidence, the consumer has in
the company and its product.
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