What Does Brand Mean: The Basics of Branding

A Brand is a Set of Associations

What does brand mean? People speaking about brand often use the term to mean the name or logo of a business. While this shorthand is true, it is not fully accurate, it is more than the name or visual element used to represent your company. It is the emotional and psychological associations that a person makes with your business, product or service.

Brand Perception

These associations represent at least two things: your business name and the perception of what that name means to your customer or client. This perception doesn’t happen in isolation, especially in the wired world we live in today. It grows out of every experience that people have when they interact with your product or service. The brand experience of your company can be actively promoted, for example through marketing or event promotion or it may be beyond your control, for example bad press or dissatisfaction put up on social media sites and shared with a large group of people.

A Clarity of Value

Understanding what ‘brand’ means gives clarity to the value of branding. If brand is a set of associations involving perceptions and experiences, then branding is the process of managing how your brand is experienced by taking brand ownership. Brand ownership means taking control and planning the experiences you want your clients to have.

What Makes You Different?

Do an inventory of experiences your clients have with your business and compare them to your competitors. What can you improve on that will make an impact and help differentiate you in the marketplace?

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