It is surprisingly rare to find a marketing practitioner who can say, "This is how my company defines our brand, and this is how we express that brand..."
What is a brand?
Almost everyone has an idea, an informal definition of a "brand" floating around inside their heads.
You probably do as well. But it is surprisingly rare to find a marketing practitioner who can say, "This is how my company defines our brand, and this is how we manage and express that brand throughout our organization."
Go to any marketing meeting, and on one side of the table you'll find people who think "brand" means "logo and color scheme." On the other side of that same table you'll find those who believe that "brand" exists, evolves, in the hearts and minds of the audience.
It is important for client and creative to share a common understanding, a common definition of "brand." So if you don't have a clear definition, make that your first step.
Here's how some people define the meaning of brand:
"A brand is the sum of all feelings, thoughts and recognitions - positive and negative - that people in the target audience have about a company, a product or service."
Steve McNamara, AdCracker.Com.
"A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller."
American Marketing Association, Dictionary of Marketing Terms
"A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of the consumer."
Colin Bates, BuildingBrands.com
Old vs. New. The AMA definition is similar to many of the older "brand as a logo" definitions. The McNamara and Bates definitions reflect contemporary brand theories.
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