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What is your brand?

It’s a common misconception that a brand is just a logo or a tag line — but they are merely its signature. So what is a brand?  I’ve got four descriptions from well-respected sources that try and explain what a brand is:

  1. A name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
    American Marketing Association
  2. 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.
    Seth Godin
  3. 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
  4. Any brand is a set of perceptions and images that represent a company, product or service.
    Persuasive Brands

I kind of like them all but none of them quite get to the point. I think brand encapsulates what people think about your business, product or service when they encounter it:

  • What do they think your brand offers?
  • Is their understanding of your brand what you want it to be?
  • How is your offer differentiated from your competitors?
  • Do people trust your brand to deliver that offer?
  • What personality do they attribute to it?
  • Do they like your logo, colour palette and tone of voice?
  • How does their perception alter once they have bought from you?

To put it at its simplest, a brand is a promise. It comes down to 2 points:

  1. Your brand is your reputation
  2. You don’t own your brand, your customers do.

Your brand touches everything and everyone in your organisation – no one wants to be known for bad service, unreliable products, being expensive, or difficult to understand communication. This is where your brand and customer experience are really linked….

Your brand is what your customers think of you.