What is a Brand?

The word brand can get a little confusing—what is a brand exactly? What makes a brand? Is a brand its logo or product? Is a brand it’s mission statement or staff?

All of the above are correct, but there is so much more to a brand.

BRAND IDENTITY

Developing a brand requires a comprehensive effort amongst a company from the top down. When a company is formed, hopefully a mission and vision statement are created, along with a set of cultural beliefs that work together to establish a brand’s identity. Along with this, a brand will convey its identity through its name, logo, and color palette—all meticulously through out and developed with purpose.

BRAND CULTURE & PERSONALITY

A brand is so much more than just a name and logo, it’s how consumers feel when they interact with a company. Establishing a mission and vision statement are a great start and give identity to a company, but cultural values and beliefs influence the way a brand interacts with internal staff, vendors, partners, consumers, and clients. A brand must think about the emotion they want their audience to feel when they interact with their brand (i.e. nostalgic, happy, hopeful, etc). You can read more about internal brand culture and how it affects a company here.

A brand’s personality defines how it comes across to its consumers. By defining brand personality, a company will understand the language, style, and tone of its messaging. A brand’s personality is visible in everything from its email marketing, product packaging, social media content, and customer experience.

MARKET POSITION

From inception, a brand should also know where it fits in the market. For example, running a SWOT Analysis to gauge the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal characteristics, while opportunities and threats are external. You can learn how to perform a SWOT Analysis for your brand here.

A SWOT Analysis will inform a company’s strategic decision making, influencing how it proceeds and subsequently, affecting other elements of the brand.

KEY TAKEAWAY

A brand is so much more than its logo and name. Branding incorporates a company’s identifiers like name and logo, as well as its internal and external culture, its mission and longterm vision, how it interacts with audiences, the emotion it evokes, and where it fits in the market.