Let’s have a quick chat about a small, simple word that seems to contain an enormously complex universe within its five letters…
Ring a bell? Of course, it does!
We’re surrounded by brands. From the device you’re reading this on to the coffee you drank this morning, everything is “branded”.
Indeed, you’ll be hard pressed to spend a day at the office without hearing “our brand” mentioned at least once or twice.
But when we try to define “brand”, it becomes quite a slippery term, doesn’t it?
Covering such broad territory, it seems to defy the constraints of a simple definition.
Ask a crowd of marketers “What is a brand?” — as I’m about to do — and you’ll likely receive a wide range of distinctly different answers.
So, in the spirit of camaraderie, allow me to start.
My working definition
Imagine a brand as a person. It has a name, a face, a voice, and a distinct personality. It leaves an impression when you meet it and conjures feelings when you think about it.
The face and the name? That’s the logo and… the name. The voice? That’s the style of communication the brand adopts. The personality? That’s the unique mix of values, culture, mission, and vision.
And it’s the sum total of all these elements — along with the interactions and experiences a consumer has with them — which makes “a brand”.
“Branding”, by extension, is the process by which a brand is first created and then applied, promoted, and (where necessary) evolved.
So, that’s how I see it.
And now, fellow marketer, I’d dearly love to know what you think
What’s your interpretation of “brand”? How does it look, feel, and sound to you? Which attributes make a brand truly stand out in your eyes?
Perhaps your experiences with certain brands have even shaped your definition of what a brand is, or should be?
Share your perspectives in the comments section ✍️
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