Using a brand name for products or service is a natural progression from the ancient custom of putting a brand on a person’s personal property or belongings. Putting a mark on anything – pottery, clothing, forged tools – was a way to make these products distinguishable as being owned by a person or a family. The practice of using brand names today still has the same basic function. The brand name is used to mark the product and distinguish it from another product, usually a competitor. In its simplest definition, a brand name shows ownership.
With a number of companies usually manufacturing and marketing the same types of products, a brand name will distinguish the product made by one company from those made by another company. Consumers use brand names to tell these products apart. But brand names are just one of these distinguishing factors. A brand has now moved from just the name but on to a more complete identity. This is carried over in the packaging, which is also unique from one another. Companies are constantly hard at work to market their brand name to consumers in the hope that it will elevate the name to a “household name,” which means it is first thing that consumers think of when choosing a product.
There is also an unscrupulous practice of imitating the brand name and packaging of a popular product so that consumers will be fooled into buying the fake product. This is considered a criminal offense and is called counterfeiting.