In today's modern world it would be hard to imagine a world without brands, there would be no flash advertising campaigns, no fast food joints such as McDonalds and Burger king and no designer clothes such as Gucci and Prada. It would probably mean there would be no way of telling one product from another. .
"Brands have thus become stalking horses for international capitalism outside the Unites States, they are now symbols of America's corporate power, since most of the world's best known brands are American".
(The Economist September 8th 2001).
The worlds top brand at the moment is Coca-Cola grassing a massive seventy billion dollars a year. Other popular brands trailing in Coca-Colas footsteps are Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Disney, Marlboro and Mercedes. .
"Brands are the tools with which companies seek to build and retain customer loyalty." (The Economist, September 8th 2003).
In order to attain this customer loyalty it requires expensive advertising campaigns and good marketing. A good brand can raise prices, however on the downside brands can fade as tastes change, for example Nescafe has fallen whilst Starbucks has risen. Fashion has a large influence on a brands popularity, a brand could be seen as what is "in" one day and "out" the next. .
Increasingly, it seems that customers are willing to pay more for a brand because it seems to represent a way of life or a set of ideas.
"Companies exploit peoples emotional needs as well as their desires to consume" (The Economist, September 8th 2003).
For example Nike's "Just-do-it" campaign, which involved a number of advertisements encouraging people to get up and exercise, was an attempt to sell personal achievement and motivation. In other words they were saying if you wear our trainers you will become a fitter, healthier and a "better" person". Companies are trying to sell their boring products into something much more thrilling and exciting by inventing lavish exaggerated stories around them.