From an internal organizational perspective, brand adoption (also referred to as alignment or engagement) is about making sure the employees (and close stakeholders, such as franchise staff, call centers or intermediaries) of an organization completely understand the organization's brand, and what it stands for -- and how it connects to their daily job responsibilities. Brand Adoption programs are undertaken with employees to make sure their activities on a day to day basis are contributing to a consistent customer experience based upon the attributes (see definition) of the brand.
A hierarchical system to organize and manage a portfolio of brands. Brand architecture typically delineates the relationship business units, products and services and their relative position to the parent or corporate brand. It involves developing Nomenclature Systems (see this term) and sometimes uses a Brand Decision Tree (see this term) to determine the function and role of Parent Brands, Endorsed Brands, and Stand Alone Brands (see definitions).
The process of connecting a customer to one's brand by associating one's brand with the attributes of another entity which is valued by this customer.
The defining and distinctive qualities of a company or product (eg: Reliable, Safe, Friendly, etc.). Attributes are the building blocks of a positioning and the basis for audience specific messages (see definition).
For our purposes, all the people or entities with whom a company wants to communicate: customers, employees, Wall Street analysts, stockbrokers, sales force, the press, boards of directors, and retailers, to name a few.
The degree to which various audiences notice that a brand exists.
These are case study analyses of competitive brands from one's own industry or analogous branding situations from other industries. Relevant analyses provide company management with examples of how similar branding situations were successfully addressed and acted on.
A product, service or company that has been given characteristics and attributes, articulated as a Promise, which meaningfully differentiate it from others in its category thus making it proprietary or unique.
The business management and marketing process in which a brand promise is consistently articulated, developed and delivered.
A company that markets its products or services to wholesalers, distributors or manufacturers rather than to end consumers (see this term).
A casual term for approval or support needed from an individual manager, group of managers, or other group necessary to move forward with a project within an organization.
A business that has a significant and loyal customer base that does not require large investments to remain profitable. The goal of this type brand is to support other brands where significant investment is necessary to be profitable such as Strategic Brands, Linchpin Brands, and Silver Bullet Brands (see these terms).
A senior level company manager part of whose responsibility is to lead and manage the development of a brand.
Also called Distribution Channels and/or Product or Service Networks. These are organizational sales mechanisms set in place by companies or industries to ultimately sell or broker products from manufacture to end consumers or business customers, e.g. websites, retail stores, telemarketing, stockbrokers.
Products or services that are not represented by brands. Sometimes called generic products or services. These products and services can only compete on price, while brands can compete on value because of the intangible benefits a brand provides.
A group of distinct and sometimes proprietary skills and technologies that enables a company to provide particular benefits to customers.
Sometimes just called a tagline. It is used with a company name as a supportive statement. It reflects the Brand Positioning or provides a further key to understanding the company's business. It is not the same as a slogan or a promotional copy line which often promote specific product or service benefits or attributes.
A comprehensive survey of all the various communications a company's primary and perhaps secondary competitors use to tell their audiences about themselves and their products and services. It can also be more expansive to include analyses of competitors' positionings, offerings, industry viewpoints, and other dimensions. It's done to uncover strengths in weaknesses about a company and to ascertain how competitors talk about themselves, what they talk about, and how they look doing it. The focus is on the implications of what competitors are doing for our client's issues.
Once used to describe the wider character and values of a corporation, the rise and acceptance of the term 'Corporate Branding' has relegated this term to mean an integrated system of proprietary graphic (names, logotypes, wordmarks, symbols, colors, secondary graphic elements), verbal, and sometimes aural components designed to represent a company and distinguish it within its industry or industries.
The combined total of all impressions, or experiences a person has with a product, service, or company. It reflects a person's perception of a product, service, or company in their mind. It can often be measured through qualitative and quantitative consumer research undertaken to help reshape a corporate, product, or service identity.
A group of employees, and sometimes consultants, from representative parts of a company or organization brought together to address and manage brand(s) issues on a regional, national, or global basis.
A strategic questionnaire managers use to help them decide where within a company's brand collection a new product or service should fit.
A word or combination of words used in conjunction with a brand name to communicate an informational attribute, e.g., a product variant, a functional benefit, a target segment, about a specific offering.
Part of Brand Architecture (see this term). Use of a parent corporate or brand identity to support and add credibility to a another brand within a company's portfolio. Attributes of the parent brand are transferred to the sub brand. The link implies subordinate emphasis of the parent to a sub-brand, though relative emphasis will vary with each branding situation.
The positive value of a brand's characteristics and/or components from the viewpoint of a brand's consumers and owners. The annual list of the world's most valuable brands, published by Interbrand and Business Week, indicates that the market value of companies often consists largely of brand equity. Research by McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, suggested that strong, well-leveraged brands produce higher returns to shareholders than weaker, narrower brands.
The core elements or characteristics which a brand stands for.
The collective encounters one has with a brand. This encompasses everything from seeing an ad and hearing someone talk about the product to walking into a store and going to a website.
A new product or service that relates in some way (benefit, type, and function) to an existing brand and offers a different benefit and/or appeals to a different market.
The brand in a company's portfolio which is most identified or associated with the company by customers. Or, simply a company's main brand, like a Core Brand (see this term).
Those characteristics about a brand that are tangible or physical in nature, also called features.?Goal: In marketing parlance, the intended result or outcome of one's endeavor. It must be concrete, actionable, and measurable (see Vision, Mission, Objective).
An integrated combination or system of a proprietary name and graphics, and sometimes verbal and aural components, that distinguishes a company, product, or service from other companies, products, or services within a category.
Image Gap Analysis
An analysis of the gap between a brand's current image and its aspirational image concentrating on those items that can be changed in order to lesson or close the gap over time.
The promotion of an branded component that is used in the manufacture or production of another branded product (examples are Intel Inside used by Dell, Nutrasweet used by Coca-cola).
The process of developing websites and other interactive products that further, or establish, a brand in this channel. The process includes strategy development, structural design, and graphic design.
A new variation of a product or service that shares the same key characteristics as the parent brand, but offers a new benefit.
The permanent placement of two or more graphic elements to each other of a corporate identity, say between a symbol and a logotype (see these terms) and a tagline. How the elements are linked together always stays the same regardless of the application. See term Signature.
Logotype or Logo
The stylized version of a company's name using typography. Outside our industry, "logo" is a common term for a company's identifying name or mark. In our industry we clarify the term to avoid confusion with other types of identifiers.
Look and Feel
The visualized personality of a brand – typically includes imagery, illustration style (photography, drawing), typography, color palette, and how these elements work together in formats.
Essentially the same as a Core Brand or a Parent Brand (see these terms). Usually used with Endorsed Brand (see this term).
A series a communication points written for a specific group of interested parties (shareholders, employees, regulators, etc) that stem from a Brand Positioning and are directly relevant to a specific audience.
Often confused with Vision (see term), a company's Mission represents an specific direction and purpose. It is universally shared - by employees, owners, customers and communities. Mission should be above the specifics of the current business, describing the underlying value proposition to the most appealing market.
A concise declaration issued by a company, usually for employees, which outlines the company's purpose, beliefs, values, and principles when conducting business. It's used as a touchstone or guidepost for employees and suppliers in all business dealings and activities.
A company's system and practices for naming its business units, products, and services and the relationship and connections they must have to each other. Typically, a nomenclature system would include the holding company, operating companies, subsidiaries and divisions, business units, and all the products and services of these entities, and the relationships among them.
A specific task to be performed in pursuit of a goal (see term).
The holding company or traded entity that has the capacity to stand alone (eg, Ford, Coca-cola, Levis Strauss) to represent a core product or service, or support related products and services by sharing its brand through endorsement (See Architecture).
The complete collection of brands that a company owns.
The analytical process a company initiates to determine – based on their brand's image, competencies, industry, customers, and competitors – how they should competitively situate their brand for optimal differentiation and market effectiveness.
A simple, concise written statement of the concept and parameters behind a brand meant to convey a brand's supported point of distinction relative to competitors.
A pledge or assurance of some measure of performance that a customer is intended to attach to a product or service as part of its brand image (see term).
Qualitative and/or quantitative data on branding or identity issues that is gathered and analyzed to validate or steer a positioning and/or creative direction.?. Revitalization (Brand)
The process of making a brand relevant to its current audiences by reassessing a brand's positioning and the equity of its brand identity elements and modifying or changing each where necessary.
The practice of separating potential or existing customers into groups based on like characteristics, e.g. personality attributes, demographics, psychological make-up, and lifestyle, to name a few. The purpose is to know these groups well, to better market brands to them.
A brand applied to services that are intangible, with no physical presence, usually provided personally to a person or organization.
A trademark law term for a registered mark that is applied to services only.
The permanent lock-up (see this term) and relationship among a logotype with a symbol where applicable, and with a tagline where applicable.
Silver Bullet Brand
A brand or sub-brand that profoundly influences the image of another brand. It is used as a positive change agent to alter another brand's image.
Stand Alone Brand
Part of Brand Architecture (see this term). A brand that is named differently from other brands that share the same name in a portfolio. Done because this brand's image, benefits, or audiences, or combination are different from the main brand portfolio.
The functional part of a company that is concerned with where the company is going. It involves industry trend analysis, business options, and competitor analysis, among other activities, and provides options and recommendations on future business initiatives.
Strategy involves the utilization of resources to reach a set of Objectives identified as part of your Mission. If your mission, for example, describes your business as being on the leading edge of a particular field through service excellence, the organization has to be structured accordingly to deliver that strategy.
This is an analytical tool for a brand that is composed of analyses of a brand's industry, trends, regulations, and competitors; options and recommendations for the brand based on these analyses; and a defined action plan with tactics to implement recommendations (see Goal, Strategy, Tactics). It reflects a company's mission, business strategy, values, and culture, and successfully translates these into a meaningful, lasting customer experience.
A product or service brand that has distinctive benefits, features or attributes that necessitate its separation from its parent brand (see this term) by being named and positioned differently.
SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) Analysis
A consulting tool for analyzing those factors that influence a brand's place in a category or industry and its future success in its marketplace.
An abstract or representational graphic mark that is developed to reflect one or more aspects of Corporate Identity (see term).
A specific marketing activity, one of many, initiated to help achieve a strategy.
A line of text attached to a corporate signature (see term) that helps to provide category specificity to a business (Xerox – The Document Company) or provide dimension to a brand relative to its positioning (Avis – We Try Harder) or its vision (Safeway – Ingredients For Life).
The written or aural characteristics a communications piece must have to effectively reflect a brand's personality.
A trademark law term for a registered mark that is applied to products only.
Narrowly viewed for our purposes, this is a consulting tool used to evaluate the activities of a brand from production to consumption. It is used to determine the branding implications of these activities, how the brand is being used, and where improvements can be made to better communicate the brand to its audience. In larger contexts, it is the evaluation of all steps in a manufacturing to sales process to determine where improvements can be made to create value for customers.? Value Proposition
This is the accumulated benefits (functional, emotional, self-expressive) a brand communicates or needs to communicate to develop a strong and sustainable customer relationship. Vision
A company's declared reason for being – why it exists, an ideal, often without a time. While all companies have a responsibility to create value for their shareholders, increasing shareholder value is not a vision; it is an Objective. The best companies, those that sustain their market prominence in turbulent times, all communicate a compelling Vision to the marketplace. Vision is realized through Mission, Strategy, Objectives and Goals (see terms). Visual Audit
A narrower focused analysis than a Communications Audit (see this term) centered only on the visual componenets of a company's or its competitors' brand or corporate identity. Visual Identity
A term used to refer to only the graphic elements of a brand (name, logotype, symbol, colors). Sometimes used interchangeably with Corporate Identity or Brand Identity (compare to these terms). Wordmark
A hybrid cross between a logotype and a symbol. It is a logotype that has a graphic device interwoven within it (eg, Hyatt, Gap, Linksys, etc).