It’s not as obvious as it sounds. Apple undoubtedly qualities, as do the likes of BMW, Avon, and Gucci.
But what about Emma Maembong? Or Azizan Osman? What about Lionel Messi, Facebook, TV3 or Hausboom?
To understand this, we need to get to the bottom of the brands because chances are we’ll spend most of our time working on it.
On the surface, we’re here to sell ideas, products or services, but our deeper mission is almost certainly to build brands. Even your business is just starting out.
We’ve all got an intuitive idea of what brand means, but putting that into words can be surprisingly tricky. Let’s look at three definitions that illuminate different aspects of this elusive issue.
It means you tend to have certain expectations of your purchases, thanks to the endless marketing messages you’re obliged to digest.
You may drive BMW because the slogan ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ resonates with your driving preferences.
Or you may quench your thirst with the 100Plus isotonic drink because of ‘The Great Stay Thirsty’ tagline.
When brands are knowns as names and logos
American Marketing Association makes an audacious attempt to define branding:
A name, term, design, symbol or any phone number lists other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
So for the AMA a brand is a means of differentiation. That’s certainly true, but it’s somewhat limited interpretation.
It works well enough for consumers items like cereals or mom’s baking powder, but where does it leave the likes of rabid fans of ‘Bossku‘?
In many cases, logo equation lacks real explaining power.
Your brand is what you do and how you do it
Here’s the definition of brand according to Interbrand:
A mixture of attributes, tangible and intangible, symbolised in a trademark, which creates value and influence.
It looks like we are heading in the right BM Lists direction here. The implication is that a brand is more than a logo, it’s also an attitude, a way of doing things, an aura of a person, place of thing.
Interbrand’s definition suggest that, with the right presentation and management, more or less anything can become a brand.
So the answer to the questions posed in the opening paragraph of this article is a big YES – all those entities either are or have the potential to be a brand.
Put it like that and it’s clear that ‘brand’ is a flexible concept, able to embrace almost anything.
Siti Nurhaliza doesn’t have a logo as such (not in the same way as Coca-cola does), but no one would deny she’s a mega-brand (we thought so).
3. Your brand delivers promises and expectations
Hang around with brands for long enough and you’re sure to hear the phrase, ‘A brand is a promise.’