An internet search gave me lots of answers but typical were:

"A name, term, sign or design intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of their competitors"

American Marketing Association

"something that has actually created a certain amount of awareness, reputation and prominence in the marketplace"

Keller (2008)

The problem with such statements is they do not help the understanding of what a brand is or how to create and build a brand - the most useful definition found is a brand is the personality of the business or product. We all understand what constitutes the personality of a person:

  • Their name
  • The style of what they wear (brand design)
  • Where they work and hang out (market sector and segment)
  • What they stand for and core values (the brand promise)
  • How they talk (brand communication and tone of voice)
  • Which social sites they are on (brand communications and channels)
  • What they like and dislike (brand values)

When we talk of the personality of the individual we use language which could equally apply to the brand. We can describe someone as professional or sporty, trusted or caring – all adjectives that describe an individual and a brand equally well.

Once that personality has been identified then many aspects of marketing become so much easier. From the choice of colours schemes to the wording of advertising. Understanding the personality and keeping the personality consistent within the marketing mix becomes the key to success.  When we discuss on this site the choice of promotional goods and the advice we give to clients, it is that personality that we at first look to identify and understand.

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References

Keller, L.K. (2008) Strategic Brand Management: Building, measuring and managing brand equity, 3rd Edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall