Brand Definition: And the implications for you
Too often, even marketing professionals don’t bother to sit down and consider the question, what is a brand? Here we take you through some good brand definitions, then share our brand definition, and the implications.
Common Brand Definitions:
“A name, logo or symbol used to identify items or services of the seller(s) and to differentiate them from goods of competitors.”
Signs and symbols are part of the answer, but to us, this is an incomplete brand definition. So, what is a brand? Walter Landor, one of the greats of the advertising industry, answered the question of brand definition this way:
“Simply put, a brand is a promise. By identifying and authenticating a product or service, it delivers a pledge of satisfaction and quality.”
In his book ‘Building Strong Brands’ David Aaker suggests the brand is a ‘mental box’ and defines brand equity as:
“A set of assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service.”
This is an important point: brands can be liabilities!
Building from this idea of a ‘mental box,’ a more poetic answer to the question of brand definition is:
“A brand is the most valuable real-estate in the world, a corner of the consumer’s mind.”
Our Brand Definition:
“A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer.”
Why this brand definition? Well, first of all, it is easy to remember, which is always useful! “A collection of perceptions.” But it is also best because it works to remind us of three key points:
- A brand is very different from a product or service. A brand is intangible and exists in the mind of the consumer.
- A brand is built through the total experience it offers. Brands are not just logos, signs or symbols.
- Brands create value because perceptions drive changes in behavior: ultimately brands are valuable because they change behavior.
- When I think about brands, do I think of “names and logos” or do I think about managing perceptions?