THE TERM ‘BRAND’ AND ITS HISTORY

The term ‘brand’, the word came from brinnan (Old High German), and byrnan, biernan, and brinnan (Old English, England’s earlier form of English language) as birnan and brond (Middle English -English language form spoken after Norman Conquest, till late Fifteenth-Century). The original meaning of the word ‘brand’ means firebrand -a burning piece of wood. A burning piece of wood was used to mark a permanent symbol on the skin of slaves and live stock for identification — the similar process was followed for marking furniture and pottery items too. In India ‘Chyawanprash’ -the herbal paste, is the oldest generic brand, known since the Vedic era, the brand is attributed as a great respect towards the rishi named, ‘Chyawan’. Even, Indus valley’s Harappan civilisation had numerous records of seals, as the native community was mainly dependent on trade. Visual symbolism language developed during the European Middle Ages fed the  branding evolution —— and, with the rise of merchants associations, the use of marks resurfaced and applied to particular types of goods. By thirteenth-century the use of brand symbol or mark became evident.

Brand comprises of elements like: name, logo, tagline, graphic, shape, colour, sound, scent, taste, and movements. A ‘brand’ can be a name, or it can be a term, or can be a symbol or feature —— the very first purpose of branding and labelling is to provide information about product or services, such as: its ownership; its origin; the age of the its organisation producing or serving; and, a guide to its quality — another purpose is to distinguish the product or services from that of similar parity ——— the consumer can easily identify, and perceive values and promises delivered along side the product or services. But, as in extended form the twenty first-century has witnessed the term ‘brand’ in Political Parties, and in celebrity personality. In the year 1876, Bass Brewery’s logo became the first image to be a registered trademark in UK, the British brewery Bass & Company founded in 1777 is still in existence. The UK Trademark Registration Act 1875 came into effect on 1st January, 1876 — and to be first in the line, on 31st December 1875, the Bass employee queued and waited overnight outside the registrar’s office, consequently Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton Limited received the first two trademark registrations: the Bass Red Triangle, and Bass Red Diamond — Bass & Company is the pioneer in international brand marketing.

Well, here are some of the oldest brands of India: The Wadia Group founded by Parsi Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia in the year 1736, is the oldest business conglomerate of India -the others are: State Bank Of India (1806), RP Goenka Group (1820), Aditya Birla Group (1857), Shapoorji Pallonji Group (1865), Tata Group (1868), Dabur India Limited (1884), Kirloskar Group (1888), Bajaj Group (1926), Haldiram (1941), Mahindra and Mahindra (Established in 1945 as Muhammad & Mahindra and later renamed as Mahindra and Mahindra), and WIPRO (1945).