|Question:||Does every company need to brand itself and its products?|
|Answer:||Frankly, the answer to this question depends on whether or not you want customers to identify your product with something they will remember. Brands are nothing more than a set of associations that, if properly communicated, will result in potential customers associating a message with the product.|
A good example is Intel. Prior to launching their Pentium campaign back in the early 90's, their microprocessors were known by a number and letter (e.g., 386 or x86). This meant little to most people other than numbers. The Pentium name, communicated to mean performance and compatibility, now meant something to people. Realize that the microprocessor is embedded inside a product, so now people really knew about something that literally meant nothing to them before and was invisible.
This was not the first time this had been done (Stainmaster and Teflon are other examples), but the point remains the same. A brand name can communicate something important to customers even if they can't see the product or if, in reality, the products are commodities (like bananas, cranberries, and chickens which all have been successfully branded).