Why are brands so important? What is the function of brands that make it valuable to customers and their loyalty? Even if the quality of a product is excellent, without a good brand it won’t sell. As famously said by John Stuart, CEO of Quaker Oats ‘If this company were to split up I would give you the property, plant and equipment and I would take the brands and the trademarks and I would fare better than you’. Brands decide whether consumers will buy the product, it persuades consumers, and it is the key to consumer loyalty and trust.
So what goes through a consumer’s mind when they look at brands? First, seeing a brand can help them identify a source, and helps them to identify what kind of product it is, from quality to taste to its country of origin. If Brand A is known to be locally produced and taste delicious, when consumers see a Brand A donut, they will instantly think that it is locally produced, and it tastes really good. So when they want a tasty donut, they go to Brand A.
Secondly, people also associate brands with past experiences and marketing programs. When people have had a good past experience with a brand, they will surely remember that brand again when they are in need of the product. They will also be more open to marketing programs from brands they had a good experience with. Brands help them identify and categorize which companies are giving them good, bad, or average service and experience.
Lastly, consumers use brands to differentiate which brands satisfy their needs, and which one doesn’t. Brands function as a simplification for product buying decisions. Consumers no longer have to look through the ingredient list, determine the quality of products, and find a product with a fair pricing. All of that is done instantly the moment they identify a brand because they know that the features of that brand are what they are looking for, e.g cheap price or nice packaging.
To conclude, brands matter to consumers because it is their way to simplify product selection process.