Unsuccessful Application: Example Five


  • There are repetitions throughout the essay (e.g. the writer excessively uses the word ‘companies’ in the introduction section).
  • While the writer covers several brand elements, some of them are overlooked (e.g. symbols, tunes, and packaging).
  • No link to the existing theory was made by the writer.
  • The concluding paragraph/section is missing.
  • There are consistency issues throughout the text. For example, the writer uses American English in some instances (e.g. “recognizable”), while UK-English is also used (e.g. “recognise”).
  • Some in-text references have page numbers, while others don’t.
  • There are format inconsistences in the reference list.
  • Some references are included in the reference list, but are missing from the text body.
  • The paper is too descriptive and it does not demonstrate critical writing.
  • There is no conclusion.


Essay: Brand Elements and Approaches to Branding


The role of branding in a company’s success and survival is significant, especially in a highly complex and globalised business world of today (Song et al., 2012). Brands allow companies to differentiate their products and make them recognizable among other companies’ offerings. The main aim of this essay is to critically discuss the main brand elements and approaches to branding by real-world companies.


Brand Elements

Looking at the retail brand Target, the brand name is easy to spell, it has a logo that reinforces the brand meaning (illustration of two circles as a target) and its slogan “Expect More, Pay Less” strengthens the brand position (MacLennan, 2004, p. 74; Dempsey, 2004, p. 33). It can be argued that if to take any of the mentioned brand elements; it will be easy for a consumer to associate them with a company. In Target’s case, its slogan has the most strength since it truly delivers retail experience to consumers that it promises (Dempsey, 2004).


Some researchers argue that easily recognisable brands can have a negative impact on the society (Arredondo et al., 2009, p. 73). Buttle and Westoby (2006, p. 1193) claim that if consumers have a chance to associate logos with the brand names, which are short and easy to spell, then these brand names will be easily recognizable and memorable for consumers. For instance, fast food brands such as McDonalds and Burger King have logos, which are easy to recognise by consumers and children, in particular, which indirectly leads to negative outcomes in children’s’ health. The findings demonstrate that these children are more often overweight than children who recognize other food logos different from fast foods (Arredondo et al., 2009, p. 73).


Brand Identity and Brand Trust

Apple brand, for instance, reinforces functional benefits of its operating system Mac as the “world’s most advanced operating system” (Landa, 2006, p. 55). At the same time, Apple positions its computers’ emotional benefits as the most imaginative choice of the computer, which is manifested in Apple computers’ design. Therefore, the right combination of functional and emotional benefits strengthens the brand identity of the product. This is also true in case with luxury brands where brand identity and brand trust significantly impact consumer’s intention to purchase (Song et al., 2012). Luxury products are sold at exorbitant prices, which partly explain luxury companies’ focus on consumer emotions (e.g. trust and loyalty) rather than the functionality of their items.


Brand Approaches

The brand should be flexible and its meaning can be changed with a time if needed despite the product stays unchangeable (MacLennan, 2004, p. 73). For instance, many fashion retailers such as Marks & Spencer, H&M communicate the brand values of their products visually, which leads to stronger brand associations in consumers’ minds (Rowley, 2009).



Arredondo, E., Castaneda, D., Elder, J., Slymen, D. and Dozier, D. (2009) “Brand Name Logo Recognition of Fast Food and Healthy Food among Children”, Journal of Community Health, 34 (1), pp. 73–78.

Buttle, H. and Westoby, N. (2006) “Brand Logo and Name Association: It’s All in the Name”, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20 (9), pp. 1181–1194.

Chow, C., Tang, E. & Fu, I. (2007) “Global Marketers’ Dilemma: Whether to Translate the Brand Name into Local Language”, Journal of Global Marketing, 20 (4), pp. 25–38.

Dempsey, B. (2004) “Target Your Brand. (cover Story)”, Library Journal, 129 (13), pp. 32-35.

Healey, M. (2008) What Is Branding? Miers, Switzerland: Rockport Publishers.

Landa, R. (2006) Designing Brand Experiences. London: Cengage Learning.

MacLennan, J. (2004) Brand Planning for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Aldershot: England: Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Riezebos, R. Kist, B. and Kootstra, G. (2003) Brand Management: A Theoretical and Practical Approach. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Rowley, J. (2009) “Online Branding Strategies of UK Fashion Retailers”, Internet Research, 19 (3), 348–369.

Song, Y., Hur, W and Kim, M. (2012) “Brand Trust and Affect in the Luxury Brand-Customer Relationship”, Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 40 (2), pp. 331–338.

Sung, Y., Kim, J. and Jung, J. (2010) “The Predictive Roles of Brand Personality on Brand Trust and Brand Affect: A Study of Korean Consumers”, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 22 (1), pp. 5-17.

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