Tuesday, August 9

What Makes A Brand

We got into several really good discussions in my NYU class a couple of weeks ago.  It was filled with students with various levels of marketing experience and from companies big and small.  The one common denominator was a love of marketing and the pursuit of a career in it.  We had fun!

One of my favorite discussions was surrounding "what makes up a brand".  The most interesting part was the range of answers.  Of course, the obvious ones came out first:
- logo (think Coke, Nike)
- tagline (think Nationwide, Jif)
- package (think Tide, Crest)
- ownable color (think UPS, Target)

In deeper discussion as we went through it, more strategic things came out like benefits and claims and copy.  That's what makes a brand?  Kind of.

In further exploration we realized that although all of those things do make up a brand, they really point to the ultimate notion of a brand:  the promise it makes to its consumers.  The emotional connection that it makes and the way that it improves their lives.  That's what makes a brand!  That's what separates Nike from any other sports apparel or Tide from any other laundry detergent.  All those other things are just visual and verbal cues to remind us what the brand is all about ... reminds us of the promise that it has made to us and kept with us through the years.  They remind of us the "positioning" that the brand has in our minds.

That's what makes a brand!

Very interesting ... What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect


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