22), a marketing strategy can simply be understood as an organization’s attempt to integrate all its marketing goals into a unified comprehensive plan. For that matter, it should be expected that a company’s marketing strategy will be line with its overall mission statement, thereby forming the basis of its marketing plan in turn.While marketing is an effective way of focusing attention on the company, branding is certainly a significant marketing tool. According to the American Marketing Association, branding refers to a “name, term, sign, symbol, or a combination of them” (Lake, 2015: 1), which serves to mark and distinguish the products and services of a seller from those of competitors. In general, branding can be thought of as the process of generating a distinctive product name and image that sticks in the consumers’ minds through marketing campaigns that feature a consistent theme. Branding serves a number of functions including raising market consciousness, growing customer loyalty, increasing prestige and the ease of promotion, as well the clarity of focus. In the contemporary business world, a brand means more than just a name and a logo, as it encapsulates the whole essence of an organization (Bilotti, 2011:11). In fact, a good and integrated brand not only mirrors, but also determines the manner in which an organization looks, acts and speaks, all at once (Bowers et al. In that respect, a brand describes not just the quality of a product, but also its features, benefits as well as value, through a combination of a strong image and a short catchy statement or slogan that helps to articulate its unique identity; differentiating it from competitors.A good brand is not only genuine, but also authentic, thereby acting as bridge between the company and potential buyers, communicating the underlying mission and vision of the organization to its market segments (Bilotti, 2011:11). In addition, a powerful brand has a great impact on a company’s success, a fact that is well recognized as proved by the vast corporate resources dedicated to the cultivation and protection of brand images. A good brand tells a consistent and meaningful story that engages the consumers at an emotional level, thereby significantly influencing how individuals perceive a company (McCune, 2015). Most importantly, a strong brand influences consumer choices, consequently driving loyalty thereby improving the sales of a company in the process (Bilotti, 2011:12).
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