Defining Brand Basics
What is Your Brand Saying to Prospects and Customers?
Peter Eberly, Director — Product and Vertical Marketing
Let’s start with the two definitions of “brand:”
“A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer.” — Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“A name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.” — American Marketing Association’s Dictionary (Wikipedia)
But a brand is much more than that, isn’t it? Let’s consider how two well-known business leaders define the word:
“A brand is the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging and price; its history; its reputation; and the way it’s advertised.” — David Ogilvy
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.” — Seth Godin
It’s obvious to see that a brand is much more than a logo. A brand also doesn’t just exist within your company; it exists in the minds of your customers. As Lucidpress, a web-based desktop publishing software application, explained in one of their blog posts, “A brand is the sum total of all the impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have with you, your company and your products.”
According to BrandZ, Apple and Google are currently the top two most valuable U.S. brands.
Jeff Bezos, world-famous innovator and founder and CEO of Amazon, framed it a little differently. He described a brand as “how people talk about you when you’re not in the room.” Branding is the way your business communicates both visually and verbally.
Now more than ever, consumers are bombarded by brand messages through direct and online advertising, sales promotions, sponsorships and more. And every day, they’re making judgments and choices about which brands to try, which brands they’ll use consistently and which select few brands they’ll endorse to friends and family.
How will your brand speak to their hearts and minds?