A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. More than simply a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes.
Brands, then, live in the mind. They live in the minds of everyone who experiences them: employees, investors, the media, and, perhaps most importantly, customers.
Simply put, brands are perceptions.
Your Brand is Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset
Despite their intangible nature, brands are business tools that drive commercial value.
Think of a brand. Any brand. Apple, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Dunkin’ Donuts—doesn’t matter. We’re pretty big fans of Apple around here, so we’ll go with that.
What is the Apple brand? It isn’t computers and phones and other cool stuff we can’t live without. Those are the products Apple manufactures. And it isn’t slick TV ads or dramatically staged presentations or chicly minimalist storefronts. That’s all marketing and advertising. It’s admittedly pretty cool marketing and advertising, but still.
Even Apple’s name and logo don’t encompass what we mean when we talk about the Apple brand.
It turns out the Apple brand isn’t any thing in the true sense of the word. You can’t hold it or hear it or even touch it. But that doesn’t mean its brand isn’t the single most valuable thing that Apple owns.
The Apple brand is the reason you literally couldn’t pay many Apple customers to use any other product. The forward-thinking, seamless experience of the Apple brand has become an inextricable part of the identities of a legion of devoted followers. For this reason, its brand is Apple’s ultimate competitive advantage. Nothing else even comes close.
A strong brand increases the chances of customers choosing your product or service over your competitors. It attracts more customers, at a lower cost per acquisition, who are happy to pay a little more and will buy a little more often.