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What is BRAND? 2015-08-16

Our site is dedicated to pharmaceutical niche, as a global marketing branch. But before we speak about pharma products, the various kinds of them, types of productions etc, we will distinguish the main notions of the most profitable industry: Brand, Generic, Alias, Active ingredient.  We'll start from the most  famous concept for every niche – brand. 

What is BRAND?

Let's open the dictionary: “Brand – (Old English.Brand – hot iron mark, stigma, smut, firebrand) – it is a symbolic embodiment of the set of information associated with a particular location, product or service». Another definition of brand sounds this way: "Brand – it's a collection of perceptions, associations, images, ideas and commitments, which are formed in people's minds." This phenomenon  has persistent associations and a wide popularity.

Meanwhile, the notion of brand has more different interpretation – it is something that meets the needs and expectations of people in a best way. The emotional component, the idea, the part of advertising -  all this is good, but there is no brand with no quality. So, real brand always bears good reputation, image and associations that occur in people's minds when they hear the name of this or that or see certain attributes of the very brand. It is the elusive sum of  properties, that conisists of the name, its history, retrospectives and excitement that it brings. But not every suchlike notion, but even not every trademark may be accepted as a brand. It can be considered as such only if at least 20% of the audience, familiar with the product claimed as a brand, refers to that object positively. 

To draw an analogy with a human beings, then all of us have names and surnames, but not everyone can be proud of it. A brand - is like a name of widely known person on whom many other people would like to emulate. The phenomenon becomes a brand when its objective perception  is replaced by  the subjective one. In other words, we do not just know about it, but also add our emotions: "How glamorous is that iphone 6s! / What an ergonomic design Audi has! /How tasty is that Coca-Cola! / Viagra! What a sought-for tablet!".

Popular brand, whether it is pharmaceutical or brand clothing, needs less advertising investment in order to attract the attention of potential buyers or investors. But here is what important, brand must have both: material  (the quality of goods produced, services rendered, or living in a particular place and so on) and a symbolic acknowledgment of the value (a visible image with which it is correlated). 

The concept of brand according to experts

Let's introduce the most briliante difinitions of the Brand notion, from experts of marketing branch. The Dictionary of Business and Management defines a brand as a "name, sign or symbol used for identification." Signs and Symbols, for sure, are parts of the brand, but the wording is still not complete. Designer Walter Landor, one of the most significant figures of the advertising industry, outlined the brand this way: "Put simply, the brand - it's a promise. Successful brands are linked to the promises of what is desirable, reflects your individuality and makes people trust. As Walter Landor once said: "products are designed in the factories, and brands - in the mind." That is why brand has a special connection with the customers / consumers. There are 8 ideas by Walter Landor, which are the keys to built that connection with the customer / consumer, those build up the sence of the whole branding conception: 1. Stand out. 2. Stake your claim. 3. Find the insight. 4. Keep your promises. 5. Get Emotional. 6. Begin at home. 7. Own your media. 8. Start a dialogue. 

The world famous branding guru David Allen Aaker in his book describes the brand as "a box of feeling" and considers that the brand - it is a set of properties associated with the name and visible symbol that enhances the value of things or phenomena associated with that symbol. Brand - a bunch of feelings and perceptions in the mind.

Well, the phrase "a bunch of feelings and perceptions" is very easy to remember and it is always helpful. This definition clarifies that the brand is very different from, in fact, a product or service. It is intangible and exists only in the minds of people. That is why, different personalities are distinguished by the difference in the perception of a brand, as someone likes one brand less and the other one  likes it more. This brightly demonstrates that the brand is built not only through exciting advertising programs, but though, in particular, high-quality work, product or service, which cuases this bunch of feelings and perceptions.

All the arguments about the brand as a sustainable image to capture the consumer's mind are oriented not only on the activity approach (objectives, means, methods, knowledge, equipment, tools, material, process of creating a brand), but also on a substantive approach (ready visible logo, slogan readable, recognizable corporate identity),  - an obvious and materialized results of creative activity directed on making up a tool for perception management. Perception management tool - this is a brand. And branding is the formation of a special kind of people - namely, customers, who is in a positive relation with what is stated as a brand. Brand creation reflects an attempt to control their consciousness and behavior, based on well-known, stable, and long-running values.

As a conclusion, we can assert that brand as well - is the management of differences in the perception of one or another object in order to establish the target audience.


Why we need a brand?

When we have too many choices and not enough time, when most of the suggestions / offers have the same quality and features - we are accustomed to base our choices on trust. Every day, the consumer is faced with many similar products and just physically, he or she does not have time to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of all the suggestions / offers. A successfully- positioned brand allows not only to determine the place of the goods on the market, but also to provide it with an additional competitive advantage.  It brings people special emotions and feelings that they lack in real life. So only  through the purchase of a good and its demonstration to all around people realize themselves socially (you can recall expensive cars, clothes, watches, various expensive devices etc), that creates individuality. Here is a paradox: the more brands are offered to choose from, the greater is the necessity  for loyalty to one brand!


Is brand needed for all companies?

Availability of a good brand in the company will help in case of difficult times when consumption is reduced. During the crisis the strong brands are often to survive – even despite the fact of deterioration in the quality they will be bought. This is called "the effect of vaccination."  Brand – is a sort of semblance of an insurance policy, which will help the company to recover quickly in the market. Support from the brand gives the product a chance to regain its positions. The brand is not judged immediately, but after some time. Would it not be so, Jaguar would have disappeared a long time ago, no other brand could survive such a fall in the quality. Availability of good brand increases the difference between the cost and selling price. In marketing jargon, this is called a premium price. Branded product becomes more expensive than the analogues in the same category. The brand increases the  volume of sales. During the last years, the most powerful incentive to invest for the brand is the influence which is reflected on the financial value of the company owner. 

In the US, we now see in average 15-20 brands for the same type of product, especially in food industry. The opposite is in Europe there we notice the reduce of the number of brands. Now, there is more trust in those companies that specialize in one type of product, as their brand is better remembered. As for the producers, the popular brand needs less advertising investments in order to promote those trademarks as it is already quite an effective tool for the invasion of the market or the protection of their positions. The Goods under the popular brand name can be sold much more expensive. The perfect example  – is Motorcycle "Harley". Those are inferior by quality to Japanese motorcycles, but cost almost twice as much. The Fans of "Harley" do not buy quality and technical characteristics, they pay for a life style.  If the producer of commodities is positioning its product as expensive and prestigious, it would not rush into the discounts and sales, even if the economic downturn began.

But the star brand is important not to all.  In the lower price segments of the market they do not need grand brands. They have another strategy of "deep market penetration" or "leadership in costs." The products of these companies are bought because of lower prices. Th brand is even harmful for them, because it needs great investments, so,  as a result, the price grows and the company looses its main competitive advantage.  But this is a differen story which will be told on a separate page of our website.  

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test comment ***@test.test2015-08-17 09:16:11But the star brand is important not to all. In the lower price segments of the market they do not need grand brands. They have another strategy of "deep market penetration" or "leadership in costs." The products of these companies are bought because of lower prices. Th brand is even harmful for them, because it needs great investments, so, as a result, the price grows and the company looses its main competitive advantage. But this is a differen story which will be told on a separate page of our website.