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  • What is a brand?

  • A brand is the difference between a pair of running shoes and a pair of Nikes.

  • A brand is what people feel about you, your product, the service you provide, or your organization.

  • It's part rational, but mostly emotional.

  • People will forgive a strong brand if it makes a mistake.

  • Remember NEW! Coke?

  • Likewise, people won't forgive a weak brand if it makes a mistake.

  • Remember Gateway computers?

  • We thought so.

  • So, what is the secret of a strong brand?

  • The answer is surprisingly simple.

  • FOCUS.

  • I'll say it again, FOCUS.

  • Great brands stand for something, not a lot of things.


  • For decades, Swedish car maker VOLVO define their brand with a single word - safety.

  • Well, it seemed to work for them.

  • Sometimes you have to think beyond the category to know what you stand for.

  • HARLEY-DAVIDSON makes motorcycles.

  • Want to guess what they stand for?


  • Not a more powerful engine, not a more reliable bike, or a smoother ride. Freedom.

  • Brands are experiential.

  • Take Starbucks, they differentiate themselves in many ways, and offer a consistent brand experience in every Starbucks you visit.

  • They even have their own language.

  • Starbucks is created in a unique community of coffee lovers that speak Starbucksease, and are true brand ambassadors.

  • It doesn't get any better than that.

  • Starbucks have realised they weren't in a business of serving coffee.

  • They were in the business of serving people.

  • So, can you put a monetary value on a brand?

  • The people at Interbrand research can.

  • Remember the fine folks at Coca-Cola we mentioned earlier?

  • Care to guess what their brand is worth?

  • That's right, according to Interbrand, about 61% of the value of the Coca-Cola corporation is brand.

  • That's a lot of cash.

  • Here's the monetary value of some other brands you will be familiar with.

  • So, a brand is worth protecting and nurturing.

  • But how?

  • Here are a few key points to help maintain or even grow your brand.

  • One, be different.

  • The world is filled with parody products and services.

  • Make yours stand out.

  • Two, be vigilant.

  • Don't allow your brand to do things it shouldn't.

  • Don't be the Gateway computers of your category.

  • Three, be relevant.

  • The market place changes constantly, make sure your brand keeps up.

  • So, who really owns a brand?

  • The brand manager? The VP marketing?

  • Brands are owned by the people.

  • It used to be, a company would tell people about their brand.

  • It was pretty much a one-way thing.

  • Now, it is much more of a conversation.

  • But don't worry.

  • This instant feedback can be very useful.

  • It gives you a glimpse into what's in the hearts and minds of your customers, and allows you to take action when you need to.

  • It can also help you stay focused, and that's a good thing.

  • So let's recap.

  • A brand is much more than your logo, or the color of your truck fleet. It's something intangible.

  • It's what people think of you, but mostly on an emotional level.

  • Great brands are focused, they stand for something.

  • Great brands are not just seen and heard, they are experienced, and in a way that is uniquely theirs.

  • A brand can have tremendous value, and should be treated that way.

  • Keep your brand healthy by being different, vigilant, and relevant.

  • And finally, never forget that people, your customers, own your brand.

  • Listen to them, respect them.

  • Most of all, earn their trust.

What is a brand?

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A2 US brand stand people vigilant coca cola coca

What is a brand?

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    Leslie Li posted on 2021/07/07
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