What Is a Brand?
The origin of brands began with cows. Yep, not very sexy; but an efficient way of identifying your cows from the neighbouring farmer. Today, the American Marketing Association defines brands as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” A brand is more than its elements though.
At its core, a BRAND is how your product makes the consumer feel when they use or think about your product. A brand is the emotional association a consumer has with your product—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). A brand name exists objectively; people can see it. But a brand exists only in someone’s mind.
Ideally, we want the consumer to associate your brand with a feeling that is exclusive to your product. I need this product because it’s the only way I feel X. That emotional association, turns into emotional attachment.
If you take your brand beyond names, relationships, features, and logic you’ll build loyal customers. Why? Put simply, human beings are emotional creatures. We make our decisions based on emotions. Guiding the consumer’s emotions are critical to acquisition and retention — to get the consumer to decide to use our product, and keep using it, even if it may not be the best or most affordable.
We call it an asset. Or a liability.
Your brand is as good as the last great thing it did; or as bad as its latest disaster. A quick business decision or a grumpy flight attendant can reduce a brand (that’s been building and investing for decades), to rubble in hours.
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind."
— Walter Landor
What are the critical ways a brand could influence your decision-making process?
By standing for something. By attaching tangible and intangible qualities to the brand.
In a word, a brand is your reputation, make sure it’s a good one.
Message us direct to get our Brand Health Audit: Five Customer Questions that will Help Determine the Value of your Brand.
- Marilyn Schaffer, Keeya Nunes, Rachel Gershman