Branding during the Industrial Economy
During the Industrial Revolution (1830-70) a clear shift was seen with the arrival of brands such as C&A 1841 and Levi’s 1850 (clothing sector); Tabasco 1868 and Heinz 1869 (fast moving consumer goods FMCG sector).
However, in those days the power of the distribution chain was in the hands of the wholesale traders and as a result most producers made articles without brand names, for which little or no advertising was done (King and Bullmore 1974; Chernatony and McDonald 1992).
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the construction of railways and sea routes were important impulses for the development of the manufacturer-owned brand. The consumer was now given a choice between different alternatives: locally manufactured products vs. products imported via railways and waterways. At the same time there was an increasing demand for prepackaged articles which guaranteed a certain constant price and quality. This increasing supply of goods and consumer demand, made it increasingly necessary to give manufactured goods a brand name, so that one manufacturer’s products could be distinguished from those of other manufacturers (Murphy 1990).
By the end of the nineteenth century the manufacturer-owned brand started to blossom as the power in the distribution chain shifted more and more in the direction of the producer. This is reflected on the arrival of brands from the FMCG sector such as Lever’s “Pure Honey Soap” 1874 (today Unilever) and Procter’s “Ivory Soap” 1879 (today Procter and Gamble P&G); Coca-Cola 1886 and Pepsi-Cola 1898 (soft drinks sector); Kodak 1887 and Philips 1891 (consumer electronics sector).
From this brief background, we can conclude that “Branding” surged as a need to distinguish a product and make it identifiable to a consumer through the use of a name or symbol. Following a trademark was created as a legal mechanism to protect the right of a company to claim ownership of a product name and symbol. Finally as more brands appeared it was necessary to advertise them and describe their unique characteristics.
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