Glossary of Brand Terms

Brand 

A brand is much more than a name or a logo, or a product. A Brand is your reputation.  It’s how your audience thinks and feels about you.  Always remember, your brand is determined collectively by “them”, not you. You can strongly influence your brand by the things you do, but you cannot fully control it.

 

Branding

These are all of the formal actions you perform to create the image you want for your brand. In its most basic sense, it is the application of your brand identity on various mediums, including signage, websites, catalogues, apps, and social media.

 

Brand Audit

A brand audit is an objective investigation into an organisation’s brand, brand management and marketing effectiveness.  It seeks to answer two questions; Where are we now? Why are we here?

Brand Architecture

Brand Architecture is how a business shapes the structure and hierarchical ranking of its brands. It is used to communicate the differences and define the relationships between each brand to its internal and external audiences.

Brand architecture is ultimately about managing perception. Externally, it helps customers and stakeholders make sense of a complex organisation. Internally, it serves as a valuable tool for optimising marketing and management efficiency.

 

Brand Experience

This describes the personal encounters someone has when availing of a brand. It is the most important determinant of your audience's perception of your brand.

 

Brand Extension

When a brand is strong enough to launch complementary or even very different products under its own brand name. Sometimes referred to as the halo-effect.

 

Brand Gap

Describes the marked difference between how the brand-owner perceives the brand as opposed to how the customer perceives the brand.

 

Brand Guidelines

Usually set out in manual form, your brand guidelines will detail precisely how each visual and verbal element of your identity (e.g. logo, colours, fonts, tagline, signage, stationery, uniforms, etc.) should be correctly applied in various mediums. Particularly important when designing brand touchpoints and creating marketing materials.

 

Brand Identity

Your brand identity, much like your personal identity, is derived from your formal appearance and contains the primary elements that define and distinguish your brand.  It includes the visible and verbal parts of your brand, including your name, logo, colourways, fonts, and tagline. 

 

Brand Image

Brand image is the overall visual picture your audience has of your brand. At the core of your brand image is your brand identity, which you have full control over.  The brand image was traditionally limited to visuals, but this has extended to sound, taste and even smell.  Increasingly brand image is being crafted by interactive social media conversations.

Brand Name

It might sound obvious, but the most important identifier of a brand is the name. There is a plethora of advice on what to consider when naming a brand, but there is one thing important to keep in mind. The name of the brand appears on everything; make sure it reflects who the brand is.

 

Brand Personality

Like a human being, a brand has a ‘personality’.  It can be described as the combination of the qualities and traits that make up the character of that particular brand. Think of the differences between Aer Lingus and Ryanair or Tesla and Volvo.

 

Brand Positioning

Identifying and occupying the unique place in your audience’s mind that no one else can claim.  The spot you hold in relation to the various other brands in your marketplace.

 

Brand Promise

The fundamental commitment you give to your audience – it’s what they can expect to experience every time they engage with your brand.

 

Brand Touchpoints

Every contact between your brand and your audience is regarded as a brand touchpoint.  The experience of multiple consistent touchpoints can be a strong influence on how your audience will perceive your brand. Examples of common touchpoints include digital ads, signage, websites, business cards, catalogues, etc.

 

Brand Values

The principles upon which the business is built and run.  They define what the business stands for and wants to be known for.

 

Logo

A logo is the unique visual device or mark you use to identify and differentiate your brand.  Logos come in various formats, including wordmarks, letterforms and symbol devices. 

 

Tagline

Taglines are typically used to position a brand in the mind of the target audience.  If a brand is unknown, it can indicate what the product/service is. If the brand is well-known, a tagline can identify what it stands for.

 

Value Proposition (USP) 

The specific reason(s) why a particular audience should choose your brand over everyone else. The justification you want burning in their brains when they think about you.