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Category: Brand Definitions

Brand Definitions Derrick Daye

A Brand Is Bigger Than Performance

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Brand Strategy Red Bull

Not long ago, a popular post was published on the Harvard Business Review site by Dan Pallotta. It was headlined "A logo is not a brand." That is a familiar enough declaration, and not far from the phrasing I use myself on the subject of brands. I clicked on the link expecting to find a familiar argument. But what I found was very different.

Dan's smart observation is that "Brand is everything, and everything is brand." By that he means that all the things a business does — not just its logo and visuals, but also its strategy, call to action, customer service, communications with customers, and people — combine to determine what it stands for. Thus he concludes, "Ultimately, brand is about caring about your business at every level and in every detail, from the big things like mission and vision, to your people, your customers and every interaction anyone is ever going to have with you, no matter how small." To Dan, a brand is essentially a performance promise incarnate.

But I would add that there is more to "everything" than this would imply, and it's what determines how much a brand is actually worth. If a brand is shaped by everything its owner does, it is also shaped by everything else associated with the brand in the minds of its customers.

If you think about why brands are important to marketers, the answer is simple: in a competitive context, a brand marks an offering's differentiation from alternatives. It is what drives customers' predisposition to buy an offering and pay a premium for it. To Dan's point, differentiation is most meaningful when it is intrinsic; that is, based on relevant, tangible, and positive performance that can be experienced through the senses. Intrinsic differentiation can come through in the look, feel, sound, smell, or taste of a product. A case in point would be Red Bull, a brand that promises to "give you wings." Whatever the effect of ingredients like taurine, any tired mind or body will receive a boost from the extra sugar and caffeine the brand contains. Similarly, Dyson became a successful global brand because its vacuum technology was demonstrably better than existing brands of vacuum cleaner.

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Brand Definitions Marketers For Charity

The Brand Formula

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What's a brand?

I think it is the product of two things:

[Prediction of what to expect] times [emotional power of that expectation].

If I encounter a brand and I don't know what it means or does, it has zero power. If I have an expectation of what an organization will do for me, but I don't care about that, no power.

Fedex is a powerful brand because you always get what you expect, and the relief you get from their consistency is high.

AT&T is a weak brand because you almost never get what you expect, because they do so many different things and because the value of what they create has little emotional resonance (it sure used to though, when they did one thing, they did it perfectly and they were the only ones who could connect you).

The dangers of brand ubiquity are then obvious. When your brand is lots of things (like AOL became) then the expectations were all over the place and the emotional resonance started to fade. If the predictability of your brand starts to erode its emotional power (a restaurant that becomes boring) then you need to become predictable in your joyous unpredictability!

If you want to grow a valuable brand, my advice is to keep awareness close to zero among the people you're not ready for yet, and build the most predictable, emotional experience you can among those that care about you.

Sponsored ByBrand Aid

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Brand Definitions Branding Basics

What is a Brand? Our Collected Definitions

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Brand Definitions. We've all heard a few in our time. For fun we've compiled a list from a wide variety of sources…

A Brand is:
• Names or symbols that identify the unique source of a product or service
• The personification of an organization, product or service
• The source of a promise to the customer
• A trust mark
• A single concept or idea imbedded in the mind of the customer
• A set of associations that enhance or detract from the related product or service
• The source of customer loyalty
• That which allows one to charge a price premium for an otherwise generic product or service
• A unique value proposition
• The source of emotional connections with customers
• The primary source of customer ‘goodwill’
• That which should drive the design of the ‘total customer experience’

Are we missing your definition? Please share.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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