Brand Debate

What is a brand?

A Horse's Mouth, although not the one I'm talking about here.

I recently had a conversation on Linkedin about building an A-Z on branding. It threw up some pretty interesting thoughts around the fundamentals of brands and branding.

Here I focus on the term ‘Brand’. There are many ‘official’ definitions on what a brand is, but I thought it would be particularly interesting to get some definitions from the horse’s mouth as it were.

Here are the top ten definitions for what people thought a brand is/was (next week ‘Branding’). Thank you everyone for your comments so far – please feel free to add more on this page.

Brand: A promise made, and kept, to your customers.
Tobi Day-Hamilton, Director Advancement at Waterloo Stratford Campus

A Brand is a claim of distinction supported by evidence of performance.
Ro Breehl, Owner, Breehl Traynor & Zehe, a Brand Development Firm

Brand = Reputation & Relationship
Stephen Baird, Chair,Trademark & Brand Management Group at Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

“Brand” is just a word — an abbreviation, if you will — that stands for the perceptions and expectations that customers have about a product, service, or company. What do your customers think of your product? Your service? Your company? A brand is another example of “the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.”
Brian Johnson, Print & Brand Design: Muller Design Studio

A brand is a promise. By relating your brand promise with your customers’ deepest wants and needs, and then authenticating that promise through the experience of your services.
Scott Michelson, Marketing, Advertising & Branding Consultant

Just a short history on the word Brand: The word comes from the old Norse ‘brandr’, meaning to burn, and from these origins made its way in to Anglo-Saxon. It was of course by burning that early man stamped ownership on his livestock and with the development of trade, buyers would use brands as a means of distinguishing between cattle of one farmer and another. A farmer with a particularly good reputation for the quality of his animals would find his brand much sought after, while brands of farmers with lesser reputation were to be avoided. Thus the utility of brand as a guide to choice was established, a role that has remained unchanged to the present day.
Sunaina Tuli, Brand Manager Kaya at Marcio India

A brand is the promise a company commits to deliver at every touchpoint with a customer.
Bernard Janoson, Director, Marketing & Sales at VitaCyte, LLC

A Brand is the intellectual AND emotional connection an audience has about a given Company/Person/Product or Service.
Chip Meade, Online Marketing & Branding

Brand is a business system. Ultimately it is a means to an end of delivering value to customers and (hopefully) getting paid for it.
James Welsh, Corporate Branding and Marketing Communications professional

A brand achieves various degrees of sensory connection with a customer depending how many sense have been engaged.
Tracy Pepe Nose Knows Consulting – Scent Branding


6 thoughts on “What is a brand?

  1. Pingback: Zoyo Branding » It’s hard to get a brand when no one knows what a “brand” is.

  2. George:

    Thanks for the press. I RT’d as well and sent to all my lists.

    Glad to have Brand defined … it’s very misunderstood… until now.

  3. Pingback: What is a brand? Part Deux « YourButler

  4. Pingback: What is a brand? - Quora

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