Back to the Basics: 16 Key Branding Terms Defined

Posted by Danya Hejazeh on Jul 2, 2015 11:51:44 AM

No matter how large or small your business, branding is key to its success. Branding is fundamental, essesential and basic  -- without it, there is no differentiation between your product and anyone else's and no route to long-term profitability.

Because branding plays such a crucial role in overall business strategy, we're offering a little refresher in this Back to the Basics post.  Here's a list of 16 crucial branding terms every business owner should know.


Unknown-1-21.  Brand: A distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market.

2.  Brand Asset:  
Any aspect of a brand that has strategic value — e.g., visual symbols, slogans, sounds, photos, mascots, etc.

3.  Brand Equity:  A brand’s power derived from the goodwill and name recognition that it has earned over time, which translates into higher sales volume and higher profit margins against competing brands.

4.  Brand Experience: Brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognitions and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand‘s design and identity, packaging, communications and environments. 

Unknown-2-15.  Brand Extension: 
A common method of launching a new product by using an existing brand name on a new product in a different category. Think Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

6.  Brand Identity
: How a business wants its brand’s name, communication style, logo and other visual elements to be perceived by consumers.

7.  Brand Image
:  How consumers actually perceive a brand.

8.  Brand Promise: Consumer expectations about what the brand will deliver. The experience — good or bad — one can expect from a brand. When an organization defines its brand promise, it should be differentiated, relevant, credible and irreproducible. 

9.  Co-branding: 
A marketing partnership between at least two different brands of goods or services. Think Dairy Queen and the Girls Scouts’ Thin Mint Blizzard.

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

11. 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.

12. Rebranding: When a business or organization decides to change a significant element of the brand. Changes can be very obvious such as a new logo or more subtle such as a slight shift in messaging.

13.  Repositioning
: Communications activities to give an existing product a new position in customers’ minds 

images-1214. Tagline: A frequently repeated word, phrase or statement that captures the essence of a brand’s promise. An expression that conveys the most important attribute or benefit that the advertiser wishes to convey.

15. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
: The driving competitive advantage of a product. 

16. Visual Identity
:  What a brand looks like – including logo, typography, packaging, etc.


***Many thanks to Brand Channel, AMA, Investopedia, Financial Brand and Columbia Business School for these definitions.

Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Branding, Back to Basics

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