A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image.
Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product. Advertising professionals work on branding not only to build brand recognition, but also to build good reputations and a set of standards to which the company should strive to maintain or surpass. Branding is an important part of Internet commerce, as branding allows companies to build their reputations as well as expand beyond the original product and service, and add to the revenue generated by the original brand.
When working on branding, or building a brand, companies that are using web pages and search engine optimization have a few details to work out before being able to build a successful brand. Coordinating domain names and brand names are an important part of finding and keeping visitors and clients, as well as branding a new company. Coordination of a domain name and brand names lends identification to the idea or image of a specific product or service, which in turn lets visitors easily discovery the new brand. Branding is also a way to build an important company asset, which is a good reputation.
Whether a company has no reputation, or a less than stellar reputation, branding can help change that. Branding can build an expectation about the company services or products, and can encourage the company to maintain that expectation, or exceed them, bringing better products and services to the market place.
1.2 Audi: commodity, products, company, brand?
differentiates between a brand and a commodity by stating that “Branding is associated with added costs in the form of marketing, labelling, packaging and promotion. Commodities are ‘unbranded’ or undifferentiated products. distinguish the difference between a product and a brand, by saying, that a product “is anything that meets the functional [tangible] needs of customers”. In this context, one can say that a commodity represents basic, unbranded products such as Steel or other raw materials.
However, products represent the next level, in this case it is automobiles. As a result, the brand level, which has intangible benefits, is represented by a particular brand in the automobile industry.
However, Audi is a company brand which means, that the “name of the company identifies the brand”. This view is supported by Kapferer (2004, p.5) and Olins (2008, p.52) who both state that the corporate name is used at the same time as the name of the brand.
1.3.AUDI – major characteristics
Audi is the jewel of the crown within Volkswagen group as well as the driving force of growth. Until the mid-1990s, Audi cars were still seen as poor man’s Mercedes or BMWs. However, since the 1996 A4 and then the head-turning TT, Audi has established itself as a leader in style and quality. Its technology also shines in powerful turbocharged engines, quattro 4WD, aluminum spaceframe chassis and advanced transmissions. Now Audi has become a strong premium brand like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The lifestyle of many people has changed in the sense that, there is a development towards an environmentally friendly way of life and Audi should take advantage of this. Even though Audi already takes necessary steps toward the protection of the environment, it should emphasise that it’s a hydrogen combustion Strategy is competitive to BMW’s engine for example.
Audi should aim to become the economic and environmental leader in the worldwide automobile market. Audi should expand their brands on the worldwide market and emphasise their different price ranges and target markets in order to create customer loyalty and affection for the brand. Furthermore, Audi should be aware that there are still new customers entering the market, for example young people.
By targeting this group, Audi has the chance to mature with this audience, which supports the establishment of customer loyalty. In this context, After Sales Service plays an important role in maintaining the customers and encouraging repeat purchase. Audi should aim to improve customer satisfaction and brand image through enhanced dealer networks and an upgraded service.
Furthermore, Audi did considerably well in surviving the economic crisis, not just because of their high brand equity and their excellent sales in the last year. However, in expanding this equity in the future, financial backing could be established, which could help Audi to become number one worldwide, and help Audi perform better against the competition. This emotional relationship should be expanded by continuing to offer high quality cars to every segment of society, ranging from young drivers to old, loyal drivers.