What is a Brand?



Austin Walk






If asked, could you define what a brand is? In today’s digital marketing world, ambiguity can creep in as organizations attempt to define their brand. But the first step in defining your brand, is understanding what a brand is.  Marketing expert and author Steven Jones explains that:

“… brands are so much bigger than business, logos, names and locations. Brands go deeper, beneath the visible surface and exist in the mind. Brands are essentially perceptions and emotions. They are feelings and associations that come from interacting with a product of service.

Think of one of your favorite brands. What is it you love so much about them? The truth is, for most of us, you can’t really explain why without some thought and examination. Whether it’s my favorite local surf shop, or my choice in electronics, I like the brand I like because of the way it makes me feel. A brand is just that, the feelings and experiences that come from interacting with a product or service.

As we define brands, the word interacting jumps out to me because companies have never had the opportunity to interact with their customer as they have today. With the advent of social media, the definitions and protocol of brand interaction is completely refined. Humor, personalized messages, real-time feedback and support and many other anthropomorphic strategies are available to businesses of all types as they strive to grow their brand. Improving your customer’s experience with your company, improves your brand.

Here are five tips as you strive to build your brand.

1. Take adequate time understanding, defining, and creating the type of feelings and experiences you want your customers to have.

2. Ensure that your brand reflects your values in EVERY marketing avenue available you.

3. Try to create an online community that helps define how your brand is perceived.

4. Objectively evaluate the consistency of your brand perception across all channels. Does your website, youtube channel, and employee attitudes all communicate the same brand message?

5. Listen to the needs of your customer and respond to them.

Whatever your market and whoever your customer, your brand is the key to long term success. Those with strong brands can survive economical depressions and tide over the rocks of new technology. At the core of every strong brand are those who understand and can perfect the user’s experience, which includes both your product and your service. Is your product perfect? If not, neither is your brand. Do the services you provide outperform the offerings of your competitors? If not, neither does your brand. Improve your products and services. Improve your customer’s experience. Improve your brand.