What is a brand?

Answering this question can be difficult, because a brand is the sum of everything that a business, organization, individual, or product is in the public space. The act of branding something is spread across every aspect of a business so giving it a single definition is like throwing a handful of darts and hoping they all hit the bullseye. I’ll go ahead and give it a try anyway.

A brand is what gives something meaning.

What would words be with no definition? The common understanding that we have in our vocabulary is what enables communication. This level of shared understanding is also how we are able to create transactions from printed paper. The brand defines who you are, what you do, and who you do it for enabling communication through a shared understanding of your value.

Some of the most important aspects of a brand aren’t directly associated to marketing. A brand allows you to gain an irreplaceable understanding of your business, creates clear goals for that business, and informs a decisive strategy to achieve those goals. Every decision you make will mean something, because you have the brand to bounce them off of. This ensures everything you do is “on brand”. This consistency and cohesion improves the clarity in how your brand is defined building brand equity over time.

Ultimately, the brand gives your business meaning in the marketplace. When a consumer understands exactly what your brand does for them, transactions happen. When other brands understand exactly what your brand does, partnerships happen. Just like the dollar and a cash register, a green light at an intersection, or even “I do” at the altar. A brand is what gives something meaning, and those who build theirs correctly can make their ideas mean a lot for generations to come.