What is a Brand?

Richard Rimer

April 9, 2023

Many of my posts are about brand protection. Actually, most of them are about protection. This leaves the question: what is a brand?

Marketers and businesspeople consider a brand to be any item that causes an emotional response in a company’s customers. It lets customers know “this is the only place I can get that specific good or service.”

Lawyers talk about a “trademark,” which is a source identifier that tells the consumer who made the good or offers the service. This is the perspective a lawyer has on branding. (Poor lawyers have no soul.)

I think of a brand as meeting 2 tests:
1) Does the public perceive the item as being the type of thing that a company could use to identify the good or service as theirs, and
2) Is the item unique enough to stand out from competitive goods and services being sold.

Some common things we think of as being a brand includes:
– names of products or services
– logos
– taglines
– color schemes
– unique fonts

Non-traditional brands include sounds (like the MGM lion’s roar), unique packaging and store layouts. I’m looking forward to even more unusual brands such as tastes, smells or even feels. Any of these items could serve as a brand if they don’t serve a functional purpose.

Start looking around. What is unique about your business? What would you do if one of your competitors started using a similar item? Let’s talk.