The word branding comes from the Ancient Norse word “brandr,” which
means “to burn.” When the term originated, it referred to burning a piece of
wood. By the 1500s it referred to the mark burned into cattle to show
ownership. Each farmer would have their own unique design so they could keep
track of their cattle, which could get lost or mingle with livestock from other
farms. These cattle brands were simple and easily identifiable; the preview of
the modern logo.

Outbound Marketing

From the conceptualisation of logos all the way through the 1990s, retailers
used outbound marketing for almost all advertising efforts. Johannes Gutenberg
invented the printing press in 1440. In the 1730s magazines first emerged as a
medium, and by the 1800s posters were so ubiquitous some cities banned them
altogether. The first television commercial was in 1941. In other words,
companies were finding more methods to send out one-sided advertisements. 

Standardisation of Product Quality

The shift from selling products to selling brands was not sudden or recent. The
Industrial Revolution helped equalise product quality for many different retail
sectors. Transportation infrastructure allowed for products to travel further.
In other words, it was no longer enough to have quality products. Customers had
more choices than before, and retailers needed to differentiate themselves from
competitors. Not only did they need to differentiate their products, retailers
also needed a sophisticated way of communicating the superiority of their products.

Mad Men Era

By the 1960s, marketers and advertising agencies discovered that features tell,
but emotions sell. A new wave of innovative professionals brought on the
“Creative Revolution” in advertising full of attention-grabbing slogans and
eye-catching designs. Marketers realised the concept of a “target audience” and
began to speak to a particular person, instead of listing product features.

Emotional Value

Marketers also created and capitalise on emotional connections between people
and brands. We are what we consume, and people became more conscious of the
idea that others would perceive them in a certain way for wearing a particular
brand. Ad characters such as the Marlboro Man appealed to the everyday consumer
as a form of aspirational marketing. 

DotCom Bubble

After the advent of the Internet, instead of talking to shoppers, retailers
could more easily interact with them. At a very basic level, retailers could
see how many customers opened or interacted with their email advertisements and
newsletters. Pop-up ads were invented, and brands could reach customers on
almost any site, and track who responded.

After the early stages of the Internet, marketing changed from a one-sided
communication to two-way collaboration. Shoppers were able to more easily
interact with their favorite stores, share opinions, and offer feedback.

Now, retail branding is more important than ever before. Consumers are
overwhelmed with choices, many offering comparable quality. Having an emotional
connection with your shoppers is necessary if you want to be their first
choice. Shoppers who have stronger connections to retailers are also less
likely to be price-sensitive, and more likely to engage with them online. Sell
your brand, and you will sell more


Source: Fastmoving