Today we live in a new global economy, even here in Idaho. The one overriding characteristic of this new world is the rise of manufacturing and delivery centers all over the world. Once a demand-dominated economy, America is now a supply-dominated economy. This translates in a word to, competition, intense competition for everyone and almost everything.

This product and service abundance means consumers don’t have to settle for just any given product. That’s where the power of a brand comes in. A brand that is well positioned and differentiated from its competitors is more likely to survive or thrive in the current economy than a commodity product or service. This is particularly true in certain categories, especially those in which little or no differentiation in deliverable benefits can be demonstrated. Here competition becomes focused on price alone

An effectively executed brand strategy can help customers reduce the risk in choosing between alternatives. It also creates the opportunity for improved profit margins, customer conversions, and accelerated product trials. Branding can even build customer retention by creating an emotional bond between customer and product that makes departure difficult.

A brand ultimately creates an ongoing relationship based on trust and loyalty. The brand’s responsibility is to deliver on its promise consistently and with high quality; the customer’s function is to support and advocate the brand over time.

Further, an established, carefully managed and nurtured brand can serve as the regional, national, even global symbol that bestows trust and credibility in a new market, new product category, or new industry. People may buy products, but they trust brands.