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What is Branding? And Branding Levels

Branding is an important aspect for every business. Whether the business is B2C, B2B, large or small, branding always influences business decisions. You know, when branding effectively will give you a huge competitive advantage, especially in today's market.

It is an obvious fact that in developed countries there are always many strong global brands. These brands all share the common feature of having a brand equity content - brand value - in favor of intangible value greater than a ratio of tangible value. So exactly What is branding? And what are the current popular branding levels in Vietnam? All of the above questions will be answered by DPS through the following article!

What is branding?

Want to understand what branding is? Then you should understand well the term Brand (brand) first. Brands are intangible; In other words it is “what other people think of you”, but on an emotional level.

A strong brand stands for only one thing, always focusing on and around that one thing. So what is a strong brand? It is not just heard and seen; but it also requires creating a deep emotional and user experience.

Brand - brand
Brand is a business' intangible asset and is "what others think of you" on an emotional level.

Thus, branding is a brand-building activity, aiming to inculcate the brand in the minds of customers. In addition, branding activities also make customers have feelings for the brand, remember the brand with clear differences compared to competitors.

To build a brand in a sustainable way, businesses must always take the product as the root

A good product will be the most important platform for businesses to invest budget and brainpower for branding. Products are always “first of the story” regardless of industry, size and form of start-up. DPS has never changed its point of view: "No matter how good the media or advertising is, it can't replace a bad product".

However, a good product does not always have a strong brand name. There is a principle that DPS would like to introduce to you. “Brand is perceived by customers” means “the brand is perceived by customers” will remain unchanged, no matter how the world moves from revolution 1.0 to 4.0 or n.0.

In the next section, DPS would like to introduce you to three levels of branding. They will bring effective brand image; along with that is the corresponding brand value is different. However, there is one important note that DPS would like you to take note of. That is, the three-level standard businesses that will be introduced below all have a common denominator of good product or service quality. But in terms of cost and brand spread will be different. The reason is that the way they build their brand and starting point is different.

Branding level 1: Only focus on producing good products and the reputation comes from "natural musk incense".

At this level of branding, businesses mostly use financial and human resources to focus on development; they don't care about anything else.

Focus all enterprise resources on product development without regard to anything else.

To clarify, DPS would like to take a simple example if we open a milk tea shop. Our shop must be delicious, different and unique in taste compared to other shops. Otherwise, we can only sell to the neighboring houses.

Once the product is good, the old customers will be the most effective marketers to spread the name of the milk tea shop. This is the case where good product quality is a very effective way of branding; when the competition in the market is not intense, the market is still new or customers do not have many choices. In this ideal condition, businesses can comfortably "live" healthy even without investing in advertising or communication.

Problems can arise when building a brand according to the method of "natural musk incense"

However, businesses that do branding in this way will face the following huge problems. That is, the business can be surpassed by competitors; just because they are inferior to them in marketing activities. Although, competitors' products may be inferior to yours in quality; but they are just ahead of you in terms of product promotion.

DPS would like to take the opportunity to give an example of a long-standing household paint manufacturer in Vietnam. The president of this company was embarrassed and said: "Although the quality of his company's paint is not inferior to that of foreign paint brands such as Nippon or Dulux. But the price always has to lose just because they make the ad more attractive and attractive.” Meanwhile, paint dealers often told him that consumers' perception of paint quality is very emotional. Moreover, they are not experts in assessing whether paint is good or not.

Branding follows business
The power of branding for businesses

You see, even to a product with a technical nature like paint, it also falls into such a precarious situation. Try to imagine products such as mineral water bottles, soft drinks cans or milk tea cups, which are already similar in quality; how much they will be dominated by marketing.

Branding level 2: Building a real "quality" brand; but the "galloping" business goes first, the brand trails behind - Not running a double code from the beginning.

Businesses at this level will have the following two characteristics. First, they will focus on business for a long time. Second, after success, they come back to standardize the brand.

Not only the SMEs that large-scale businesses also brand in this way. They will constantly restructure their product or service to satisfy the needs of their target customer group. Products with low sales or ineffectiveness will be eliminated. From there, the company will focus its resources on potential products. That is to narrow down to expand.

Many people still say that they don't know anything about the brand. Simply, they just keep changing the product for the better to sell more. In fact, these people are doing branding in a pretty sustainable way! They take business as the foundation for the brand, as a guideline. That is, the business focuses on the target customer group with a strategic product group. In other words, they are positioning the brand for the business – Brand positioning.

What do you think about this branding? According to DPS, although it is quite effective, businesses will take a lot of time, financial resources and human resources to find the right direction. Because it is likely that the departments in the company will find it difficult to coordinate smoothly with each other. Because, when not familiar with this orientation, the business has changed to another direction.

Branding level 3: Do the "standard", know the purpose and method from the beginning

This is probably the most standard level of branding. The business owner has a clear brand positioning strategy. And apply right from the beginning, doing branding at the same time as implementing business strategy. 

Make a standardized brand right from the start
Enterprises have had a clear brand positioning strategy and applied it from the beginning.

Meanwhile, marketing communication plans such as advertising, PR and content ... will all stick to the big idea - the big idea - of the previously defined brand positioning strategy.

With this approach, you can easily realize the following advantages:

  • Internally, from leaders to departments, they clearly understand the path and orientation of each stage on the brand building roadmap.
  • There are no misunderstandings, internal disputes about the implementation method & goals.
  • All business activities revolve around a big idea about the brand image to achieve.
  • Save a lot of company time and resources while doing branding.


All three levels of branding above are different in terms of starting point and effectiveness. But they are all the same in terms of the principle of action. They take the product and core competencies of the business as the base. The enthusiasm and seriousness of the business to produce good products for the society. With a methodical way of making a brand "friendship" with good products, it will create strong brands for the business itself and for the locality or a country. And a strong brand always has intangible value that is always greater than its functional tangible value. This is the intangible asset of every business.

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