What exactly is a brand? Hint: It’s not your brand name!
When was the last time you needed to blow your nose, and asked someone for a “facial tissue?” Or cut your finger and asked for an “adhesive bandage”? My guess is you asked for Kleenex or a Band-Aid – brand names that have become synonymous with their function. That’s the power of a great brand, yet this is the question I get most: what is a brand, anyway?
Here’s my answer: a “brand” is what prospects think of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s not just the name or the logo. A brand is everything the public thinks it knows about your product – both factual (e.g. it’s the cola in the red and white can), and emotional (e.g. it tastes better). A brand name exists objectively – people can see it. But your brand exists in people’s minds – they feel it.
So, a brand name refers to the name that signifies the source of a product or service, while the brand refers to the perception customers have about that product or service. In an ideal marketing world, your business has a brand name that is totally unique to you so whenever you see or hear your brand name mentioned, you know they’re talking about you.
Does your website clearly convey your brand to potential customers?