What is a brand?
(In a minute or less)
An entity's brand is its perceived identity. It is purely the summation of peoples' attitudinal and emotional appraisals towards everything it is and does. It's a matter of psychology- as such, we are dealing with subjectivity, so brands can mean different things to different people. For these reasons, branding is more of an art than it is a science.
There is no definitive set of 'components', but organizing the information this way will make the entire concept much easier to understand, and it will help with any branding activities. The following list is informed by my education, experience, and research.
1. Design (Name, Logo, Artwork, Audio, Product Design)
The 'Design' is a brand's artistic component. It can be equated to a brand's 'style' or 'theme'. What do people think of when they see the artwork; what thoughts, emotions, memories, judgments come to mind?
What emotions and judgements is Dodge trying to evoke with their artwork?
2. Delta Factor (Positioning, Differentiation, USP)
'Delta Factor' is a term I've coined to describe the change the company brings to the market. What's unique about the brand, or how is it different from the majority. What do people think of when they consider the Delta Factor; what thoughts, emotions, memories, judgments come to mind?
Why does Tesla produce such different products than their competition?
3. Communications (Message, Style, Medium, Channel)
'Communications' is simply what a brand literally says, how it says it, and where it says it. What do people think...
4. Known Associations (What/Who is sponsored, partnerships & licensing, customers/users)
The events, people, or organizations that an entity associates with become part of it's perceived identity. What do people think...
You can't think of Onnit without thinking of Joe Rogan. A case where the associated 'thing' is bigger than the brand.
5. Perceived Purpose (Mission, Vision, Values)
The truth doesn't matter here, only public perception. Innocent companies have been marked as evil and vice versa. What do people think...
Halliburton was accused of war profiteering- not good!
6. Reputation (What's known, what other people are saying)
The reputation of a brand is what's known about people's experiences with the brand, including your own. These can be amazon reviews, stories from friends, or even news articles. What do people think...
United's reputation took a serious hit after violently dragging a man off a flight. This caused irreversible damage to the brand.
2. Delta Factor
4. Known Associations
5. Perceived Purpose