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A tradename used to identify a specific product, manufacturer, or distributor. The sale of most branded products began in the UK at the turn of the century; some, such as Bovril (Trademark) and Horlicks (Trademark), were mid-Victorian, introduced when manufacturers wanted to distinguish their goods from those of their competitors. As consumers became more sophisticated, manufacturers placed more emphasis upon promoting their brands directly to consumers (rather than to distributors), spending considerable sums on advertising the high quality of their products. Manufacturers believe that if they invest in the quality of their brands they will build up a brand image, to which consumers will respond by asking for their goods by their brand names and by being willing to pay a premium for them (see brand loyalty). Manufacturers also believe they will be less susceptible to demands from distributors for extra discounts to stock their brands. For some products (e.g. perfumes and alcoholic drinks), considerable effort has been devoted to promoting brands to reflect the personality of their likely purchasers; marketing research has indeed shown that for these products consumers can be persuaded to buy brands that enhance the image they have of themselves. See brand value; generic product; own brand.

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