Glossary of Branding Terms: Brand equity? Masterbrand? Brand Architecture? Whether you are a Marketing Director, CEO, or Entrepreneuer, it’s important that we understand each other. The following definitions are included for that purpose, and are attributed to Brand Channel.

Brand

A brand is a mixture of attributes, tangible and intangible, symbolised in a trademark, which, if managed properly, creates value and influence.

“Value” has different interpretations: from a marketing or consumer perspective it is “the promise and delivery of an experience”; from a business perspective it is “the security of future earnings”; from a legal perspective it is “a separable piece of intellectual property.” Brands offer customers a means to choose and enable recognition within cluttered markets.

Brand Architecture

How an organization structures and names the brands within its portfolio. There are three main types of brand architecture system: monolithic, where the corporate name is used on all products and services offered by the company; endorsed, where all sub-brands are linked to the corporate brand by means of either a verbal or visual endorsement; and freestanding, where the corporate brand operates merely as a holding company, and each product or service is individually branded for its target market.

Brand Equity

The sum of all distinguishing qualities of a brand, drawn from all relevant stakeholders, that results in personal commitment to and demand for the brand; these differentiating thoughts and feelings make the brand valued and valuable.

Brand Experience

The means by which a brand is created in the mind of a stakeholder. Some experiences are controlled such as retail environments, advertising, products/services, websites, etc. Some are uncontrolled like journalistic comment and word of mouth. Strong brands arise from consistent experiences which combine to form a clear, differentiated overall brand experience.

Brand Extension

Leveraging the values of the brand to take the brand into new markets/sectors.

Brand Harmonization

Ensuring that all products in a particular brand range have a consistent name, visual identity and, ideally, positioning across a number of geographic or product/service markets.

Brand Identity

The outward expression of the brand, including its name and visual appearance. The brand’s identity is its fundamental means of consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors.

Brand Image

The customer’s net “out-take” from the brand. For users this is based on practical experience of the product or service concerned (informed impressions) and how well this meets expectations; for non-users it is based almost entirely upon uninformed impressions, attitudes and beliefs.

Brand Management

Practically this involves managing the tangible and intangible aspects of the brand. For product brands the tangibles are the product itself, the packaging, the price, etc. For service brands (see Service Brands), the tangibles are to do with the customer experience – the retail environment, interface with salespeople, overall satisfaction, etc. For product, service and corporate brands, the intangibles are the same and refer to the emotional connections derived as a result of experience, identity, communication and people. Intangibles are therefore managed via the manipulation of identity, communication and people skills.

Brand Personality

The attribution of human personality traits (seriousness, warmth, imagination, etc.) to a brand as a way to achieve differentiation. Usually done through long-term above-the-line advertising and appropriate packaging and graphics. These traits inform brand behavior through both prepared communication/packaging, etc., and through the people who represent the brand – its employees.

Brand Positioning

The distinctive position that a brand adopts in its competitive environment to ensure that individuals in its target market can tell the brand apart from others. Positioning involves the careful manipulation of every element of the marketing mix.

Branding

Selecting and blending tangible and intangible attributes to differentiate the product, service or corporation in an attractive, meaningful and compelling way.

Co-Branding

The use of two or more brand names in support of a new product, service or venture.

Differentiation

Creation or demonstration of unique characteristics in a company’s products or brands compared to those of its competitors.

Endorsed Brand

Generally a product or service brand name that is supported by a masterbrand – either dominantly e.g. Tesco Metro or lightly e.g. Nestle Kit-Kat.

Intangibles

Incapable of being touched. Intangible assets include: trademarks, copyrights, patents, design rights, proprietary expertise, databases, etc. Intangible brand attributes include: brand names, logos, graphics, colors, shapes and smells.

Market Leader

A company that has achieved a dominant position—either in scale or influence—within its field. This leading position often comes about because the company was the first to market a certain type of product and, with the protection of a patent, has managed to consolidate its position before direct competition was possible. Alternatively, a company may overtake a previous market leader through greater efficiency and skilful positioning.

Market Share

A company’s share of total sales of a given category of product on a given market. Can be expressed either in terms of volume (how many units sold) or value (the worth of units sold).

Masterbrand

A brand that dominates all products or services in a range or across a business. Sometimes used with sub-brands, sometimes used with alpha or numeric signifiers. Mercedes-Benz and BMW are both employed as masterbrands.

Parent Brand

A brand that acts as an endorsement to one or more sub-brands within a range.

Positioning Statement

A written description of the position that a company wishes itself, its product or its brand to occupy in the minds of a defined target audience.

Rebranding

When a brand owner revisits the brand with the purpose of updating or revising based on internal or external circumstances. Rebranding is often necessary following a merger, acquisition, or if the brand has outgrown its former identity.

Repositioning

Communications activities to give an existing product a new position in customers’ minds and so expanding or otherwise altering its potential market. Many potentially valuable products lead an obscure existence because they were launched or positioned in an inadequate manner. It is almost always possible to enhance the value of such products by repositioning them.

Sub-brand

A product or service brand that had its own name and visual identity to differentiate it from the parent brand.

Tangibles

Capable of being touched. Tangible assets may include: manufacturing plant, bricks and mortar, cash, investments, etc. Tangible brand attributes may include: the product and its packaging. Tangible brand values may include: useful qualities of the brand known to exist through experience and knowledge.

Trademark

“Any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of another undertaking” (UK Trade Marks Act 1994).

Visual Identity

What a brand looks like – including, among other things, its logo, typography, packaging and literature systems.*All definitions are ©2001-2013 Brand Channel and can be found at: www.brandchannel.com

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