What is a Brand?

We often hear the term Brand used by marketing people and business owners.  But do we actually understand what that means?

In the dictionary, its listed as

a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. “a new brand of soap powder”

Idea Commercial Planning Marketing Brand Concept

But I think its so much more than a product – it’s the things that create consistency, personality and perception to your company/products.

Now if I was to say to you –  yellow arches, the big mac and my fave the Hamburglar.   Which company comes to mind?

McDonalds are the all-encompassing brand.  Everything you see is instantly recognisable. Everything is consistent, even down to how their burgers are cooked – giving you as the consumer a perception of what to expect.


An article on Forbes said:

Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.


Now for a small or medium size business it’s probably unlikely you have your own brand ethos or guidelines and most of what you do is fly by the seat of your pants, need a leaflet – get it printed, need a banner – may follow the similar design, the website updated – slightly more removed.  So you see how each time you add a degree of separation – making it confusing for your customers.

That is why even for a small business, having a brand document is a great idea


What a Brand ethos will do for you …..

  1. Make you think about what you want your customers to think about when they hear your name
  2. Ensure you consider in policies and procedures and training of staff – am I conveying brand values? E.g. If answering queries promptly is a core value – are you conveying this to staff?
  3. Make sure you create some consistency – let people recognise your brand with colours, logos and more
  4. Make you consider quality – if you are trying to be the John Lewis of your sector – do Vista Print business cards really shout that?
  5. Consider appearance further – Would McDonald’s let staff wear what they want? No, so why should you – these people are the face of your brand…


How do I start, what should I consider?

The very basics to consider are:

  • Values – What does your brand stand for? quality, delivery, honest pricing
  • Passions: – What are you passionate about? e.g. service
  • Personality attributes – Trustworthy, reliable?
  • Goals – what do you aim to achieve?
  • Colours, images, fonts – Is there a particular colour that matches your brand? or types of images e.g. lifestyle


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