A collection of attributes, both tangible and intangible, symbolized in a trademark, which, if managed properly, create value and influence.

The process of selecting and blending tangible and intangible attributes to differentiate the product, service or company in an attractive, meaningful and compelling way. The identification of a product, service or offer with the parent company.

Brand Ambassador:
The face or spokesperson of a brand. The brand ambassador, which historically took the form of a CEO, celebrity endorser or other paid affiliate, represents the essence of a brand and is a controlled effort to humanize brand messaging, mission and outreach. More recently, employees, loyal customers and anyone passionate about the brand, have assumed the title. The ambassador eats, breathes and lives the brand, providing customers with a tangible and influential brand experience while serving as the campaigner, defender and avatar of the brand.

Brand Archetype(s):
Categories of brands that share specific, universally recognizable personality traits, attitudes, and behaviors. These archetypes are drawn from influential psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theory that humans use symbolism to understand larger concepts. Brands are categorized by twelve Jungian archetypes: The Innocent, The Everyman, The Hero, The Rebel, The Explorer, The Creator, The Ruler, The Magician, The Lover, The Caregiver, The Jester, and The Sage. Identification with and archetype allows brands to foster a deeper connection and understanding with their target audience. These archetypes can then be used to align the brand with specific customer personas and focus the efforts of marketing teams.

Brand Architecture:
The clarification and structure of a company’s multiple brands, organized by type, number, relationship and purpose. Brand architecture reflects the way in which the company would like the marketplace to understand the breadth and depth of its business, and how an organization structures and names the brands within its portfolio.

Brand Assets:
The individual elements that come together to form the outward-facing brand. Brand assets include the fonts, colors, animations and resources that must work together in order to forge the distinctive appearance of a brand. While each element can stand alone to spark recognition of the brand, the union of all these elements is what creates a cohesive brand identity.

Brand Associations:
The feelings, beliefs and knowledge that consumers hold about a brand. These associations are derived as a result of experiences, and must be consistent with the brand positioning and the basis of the brand’s differentiation.

Brand Attributes
The touchstones that define the qualities and personality of the brand in a customer’s mind. Brand attributes help establish the spirit and tone that inform all communications and effectively guide internal culture. They are the qualities that make a brand unique, personal and recognizable.

Brand Audit
A thorough, under-the-hood examination of a brand to uncover performance, position and customer insights. A brand requires these inspections in order to identify strengths, weakness and opportunities for refinement or new initiatives. The results of a brand audit will align teams and set the stage to prioritize and manage any course corrections needed.

Brand Awareness
The ability of a brand’s customers to identify the brand in a crowded market, and their level of familiarity with the brand’s unique buying proposition. Greater brand awareness is often a primary goal of marketing a product or service and is critical when launching a new brand. Brand awareness coupled with brand preference creates an opportunity for premium pricing.

Brand Discovery
The process of objectively examining a brand to better understand its role within the competitive landscape and gain insights into its consumers and what motivates category purchase. Brand discovery will reveal strengths, weaknesses, the elements that customers value most among the brand’s offerings, and why.

Brand Commitment:
The degree to which customers are committed to a given brand and are likely to buy it or use it again in the future. The level of commitment indicates the degree to which a brand’s customer

franchise is protected from competitors.

Brand Council:
A cross-disciplinary, senior-level group responsible for championing the brand, providing brand leadership, and ensuring the necessary tools and guidelines are in place for effective management.

Brand Differentiation:

The attributes that set one brand apart from the competition. In brand messaging, differentiation is presented as reasons why a customer should choose one brand over another.

Brand Equity
The value of a brand’s financial and non-financial assets measured by its quality of public awareness and influence. Brand equity represents the sum of all distinguishing qualities of a brand, drawn from all relevant stakeholders, that result in personal commitment to and demand for the brand; these differentiating thoughts and feelings make the brand valued and valuable.

Brand Earnings:
The share of a brand-owning business’s cash flow that can be attributed to the brand alone.

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

Brand Equity Protection:
The implementation of strategies to reduce risk and liability from the effects attributable to counterfeiting, diversion, tampering, and theft, so that the differentiating thoughts and feelings

about the brand are maintained, and remain valued and valuable.

Brand Essence:
The brand’s promise expressed in the simplest, most single-minded terms. For example: Volvo = safety; AAA = Automobile Association of America. The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental customer need.

Brand Experience:
The collective experiences of a customer across all points of contact with a company’s products/services, employees, environments, and communications. 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; others are uncontrolled, such as journalistic comments and word of mouth. Strong brands arise from consistent experiences, which combine to form a clear, positive and differentiated overall brand experience.

Brand Extension:
Leveraging the values of the brand to take it into new markets or new sectors.

Brand Gap
The gap between an organization’s business and creative strategies. Bridging the gap creates a cohesive brand identity that unites strategy and creative teams, and drives better customer connections.

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

Brand Hierarchy
The order of importance of individual brands within the architecture of a company’s larger entity or parent brand. A system or order that differentiates the individual sub-brands of a larger brand and can be based on size, performance, public recognition and financial value.

Brand Identity:
The marks (a symbol, a proprietary typeface, and/or type application signature) that are used to visually express the brand, usually developed from the positioning and values. The outward expression of the brand, including its name and visual appearance. The fundamental means by which consumers recognize a brand, symbolizing the brand’s differentiation from competitors.

Brand Identity Guidelines:
A set of rules and policies for how and when to use the brand identity, to ensure consistency across all communications.Brand Real creates a comprehensive document or rulebook, typically on an intranet site, for easy to use and downloadable materials. It affirms the principles of a brand and provides guidance to understand its legacy, vision, mission, personality, positioning, elevator pitch, tagline, logos and attributes. Brand standards inform staff, external agencies and vendors of the code under which the brand operates. It serves to establish appropriate usage, variants and application of each of the brand assets, and specifies how the elements fit together. Synonyms: Brand Standards, Style Guide

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

Brand Implementation:
Process and actions taken to ensure all external and internal communications and actions are effectively and consistently aligned with the brand positioning.

Brand Licensing:
The leasing by a brand owner of the use of a brand to another company. Usually a licensing fee or royalty will be agreed upon for the use of the brand.

Brand Management:
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 definition below), the tangibles have to do with the customer experience: the retail environment, the interactions 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 management includes the structure, discipline, policies and processes that flow from the brand strategy across the entire organization and that are used to create and control impressions of the brand in order to promote, profit from, and protect the brand.

Brand Map
A visual manifestation of a brand that provides a top-level view of all its inner workings, including employee roles, brand purpose, offerings and pricing. The brand map can be a useful tool to guide employee onboarding and training, as well as larger organizational initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions.

Brand Mark (or Logo):
A simple graphic element (with or without text) used to identify a company. Notable examples include the Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches.

Brand Measurement:
The process, usually quantitative in nature, for tracking and measuring the brand’s performance and economic value over time.

Brand Messaging:
The overarching message used to communicate the brand to all audiences. It is the desired future reputation of the brand. The brand messaging includes both rational and emotional components. It is not the tagline. (See Tagline, below.)

Brand Metrics:
An agreed-upon set of trackable measures, which map to the brand positioning, brand values, and brand behaviors and which can be measured over time to understand areas of brand improvement and decay; also used to measure customer experience.

Brand Mission:
How the brand will act on its insight.

Brand Parity:
A measure of how similar the various brands within a category are perceived to be, in terms of what they actually deliver. Brand parity varies widely from one category to another. It is high for gasoline, for example: about 80% of respondents (in a GK Brand survey) see no real difference between brands. By contrast, brand parity for cars is low: only about 25% of respondents say that one make is much the same as another.

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

Brand Platform:
Consists of the following elements:

  • 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.
  • Brand Strategy: A plan for the systematic development of a brand to enable it to meet its agreed-upon objectives. The strategy should be rooted in the brand’s vision and driven by the principles of differentiation and sustained consumer appeal. The brand strategy should influence the total operation of a business to ensure consistent brand behaviors and brand experiences. It is structured to support the overall company business strategy and consists of the company’s brand positioning, brand values, and brand architecture.
  • Brand Tone of Voice: How the brand speaks to its audiences.

Brand Preference:
A gauge of customer choice in a particular category, or the act of a customer choosing one product over another.

Brand Salience:
The strength or weakness of a brand in a particular purchasing decision, influenced by its brand positioning.

Brand Standards:
See: Brand Guidelines

Brand Value:
“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 facilitate recognition within cluttered markets. The brand value is the code by which the brand lives. It acts as a benchmark to measure behaviors and performance. Brand values are the tangible and intangible characteristics that form the basis of the brand positioning and are the unique characteristics that in combination differentiate the company’s brand in the marketplace. (See Brand Platform.)

Brand Values
An unwavering declaration of values or promises that steers a brand toward its “true north.” Brand values are the internal attributes that establish a brand’s unique transactional experience.

Brand Valuation:
The process of identifying and measuring the economic benefit—brand value—that derives from brand ownership.

Brand Vision:
The brand’s guiding insight into its world. (See Brand Platform.)


Clear Area:
The space around the signature that is kept empty to isolate the signature and make it easier to see.

The use of two or more brand names in support of a new product, service or venture. Co-branding is a strategy that couples the strengths, awareness and customers of one brand with another in order to increase brand equity, target specific markets and/or combine brand values in the mind of the consumer.

Color Palette:
The set of approved colors to be used throughout communications. This applies to color fields and type, not to photographic imagery.

Color System
A brand’s master color guide that consists of primary and secondary palettes of print and digital color values that govern all usages of brand assets to ensure a sense of hierarchy, consistency, usability and harmony. The strategic selection of color, tones and hues evokes emotion for—and recognition of—a particular brand.

In the context of sub-branding, the prescribed placement of elements that make up the entire sub-brand identity.

The arrangement of graphic elements of a company’s signature. The size and positional relationships of the elements within an approved signature configuration are fixed and must not be altered.

Consumer Product:
Goods (consumer goods) or services (consumer services) purchased for private use or for other members of the household.

The exclusive legal rights to copy, publish and sell materials, such as an ad. Also, the mark that indicates a work is protected in this way.

Core Competencies:
A company’s particular areas of skill and competence that best contribute to its ability to compete.

Corporate Identity:
At a minimum, this refers to the visual identity of a corporation (its logo, signage, etc.), but often is taken to mean an organization’s presentation to its stakeholders, and the means by which it differentiates itself from other organizations.

When an organization or individual produces a product that looks like a branded product and is packaged and presented in a manner to deceive the purchaser.

Country of Origin:
The country from which a given product comes. Customers’ attitudes to a product and their willingness to buy it tend to be heavily influenced by what they associate with the place where it was designed and manufactured.

Customer Characteristics:
All of the distinguishing, distinctive, typical characteristics and circumstances of customers that can be used in market segmentation to differentiate one group of customers from another.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):
Tracking customer behavior for the purpose of developing marketing and relationship building

processes that bond the consumer to the brand. Developing software or systems to enable one-to-one customer service and personal contact between the company and the customer.

Customer Service:
The way in which the brand meets its customers’ needs via its various different channels (for example, over the telephone or Internet in the case of remote banking, or in person in the case of retail or entertainment).


The description of outward traits that characterize a group of people, such as age, sex, nationality, marital status, education, occupation, or income. Decisions on market segmentation are often based on demographic data.

A short statement added to a non-descriptive brand name that describes a quality or service central to the brand’s offering. For example: Starbucks “Coffee”, La Croix “Sparkling Water”, Dell “Computers”.

Differential Product:
Advantage or feature of a product that is valuable to customers and is not found in other products of the same category.

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

Any tangible or intangible characteristic that can be used to distinguish a product or a company from other products and companies.

When a genuine product is sold to a buyer in one market/channel and then resold by the same buyer into another market/channel, without the consent or authority of the brand owner, to take advantage of a price arbitrage situation. Also called “parallel trade” or “gray-market activity.”

Drop Shadow:
The soft, diffused shading around a company’s symbol that makes it look as if the logo is above the surface of the background.


Endorsed Brand:
Often used synonymously with sub-brand, an endorsed brand is generally a product or service brand name that is supported by a masterbrand—either dominantly (e.g. Apple Watch) or lightly (e.g. Nestle Kit-Kat).

EPI (Ethical Positioning Index):
A comprehensive scale that measures how ethical a company’s brand positioning is. The index is comprised of the fundamentals of brand positioning (identity, image, personality, awareness and communication) and ethical variables, such as beliefs, values and customs.


Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG):
Frequently purchased consumer items, such as food items, cleaning products, and toiletries.

Freemium, a portmanteau of the words "free" and "premium", is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but money (a premium) is charged for additional features, services, or virtual (online) or physical (offline) goods that expand the functionality of the free version of the software.[1][2] This business model has been used in the software industry since the 1980s. A subset of this model, used by the video game industry, is called free-to-play. Examples: LinkedIn, Youtube and Dropbox.

Focus Group:
A qualitative research technique in which a group of about eight to ten people is invited to a neutral venue to discuss a given subject. The principle is the same as an in-depth interview, except that group dynamics help to make the discussion livelier and more wide-ranging.

Qualitative groups enable the researcher to probe deeper into specific areas of interest (for example, the nature of commitment to a brand). The result adds richer texture to the understanding of broader data (for example, quantitative), which may paint general trends or observations. Focus groups are also known as group discussions.

The style of type used. A company should use a set family of fonts. Typically, one font is used for corporate names and lockups, and a secondary font family is used for editorial text.

What a product does for the buyer and user; the utility it offers the user; what the user can do with it.


Generic Brand:
The term generic brand refers to a type of consumer product on the market that lacks a widely recognized name or logo because it typically isn't advertised. Generic brands are usually less expensive than their brand name counterparts due to their lack of promotion, which can inflate the cost of a good or service. Example: CVS-brand Ibuprofen.

Graphic Style:
A graphic style is a set of reusable appearance attributes and graphic elements, typography, color and images that make up a brand’s overall visual appearance.

Global Symbol:
A company’s symbol always appears in combination with the company’s name or logotype in a Corporate Signature. This becomes a Branded Business Signature.

A product consisting predominantly of tangible value. Almost all goods, however, have intangible values to a greater or lesser extent.


High Technology (High-Tech):
A term with vague and far-reaching meaning, covering electronics, data technology, software development, telecommunications, medical technology, and biochemistry. In order to be classed as a high-tech company, one definition is that at least 35 percent of staff should have a technical qualification, and at least 15 percent of sales should be used for R&D. Another definition states that the company must employ twice as many scientists and engineers, and invest twice as much in R&D as the average of all manufacturing companies in the country.


A graphic symbol that represents some real, fantasy or abstract motive, entity or action. A small graphic representation of a brand or brand function, typically within a graphical user interface. An icon helps users recognize a brand, illustrate what a brand does, and navigate to or through its app and website. Apple’s trash is an example of an icon.

An abbreviated version of a brand’s name formed by the first letter of each word in its name. Its appearance is identical to an acronym, but differs in that it’s pronounced letter by letter, rather than as a spoken word. Examples: CNN, NBC and AT&T, vs. NASA, which is an acronym.

Intangible assets include trademarks, copyrights, patents, design rights, proprietary expertise, databases, etc. Intangible brand attributes are brand names, logos, graphics, colors, shapes, and smells. (See Service Brand.)


Key Audience Messaging:
Verbal interpretations of the brand positioning and brand values focused on specific audiences. Conveys the essence of the brand positioning to each audience, using words that respond to the needs and resulting benefits targeted to that audience, while still ensuring consistency in the overarching message.


The initial marketing of a new product in a particular market. The way in which the launch is carried out greatly affects the product’s profitability throughout its life cycle.

Linguistic Analysis:
A technique to ensure that a chosen name is free of negative connotations in all languages of industrialized economies and emerging markets. Also used to verify that a product name or company name has strongly positive associations and is easy to pronounce in the major languages of business.

The arrangement of the corporate signature or business signatures.

A brand’s most important and recognizable visual signifier. Composed of text (brand signature) and image (brand symbol), the logo serves as a company’s flag. The terms logo and trademark are used synonymously. The Apple logo is a prime example.

The corporate name in specially drawn letterforms. It cannot be set in standard typefaces. Almost always, the logotype is joined with the global symbol in an approved configuration.


Market Leader:
A company that has achieved a dominant position within its field, either in scale (e.g. British Airways) or influence (e.g. Virgin). 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 skillful positioning.

Market Position:
A measure of the position of a company or product in a market. Defined as market share multiplied by share of mind.

Market Segment:
A group of customers who share the same needs and values, who can be expected to respond in much the same way to a company’s offering, and who command enough purchasing power to be of strategic importance to the company.

Market Segmentation:
Dividing customers into market segments according to how and for what purpose they use a product. Note that the same product might be used in different ways, or for different purposes,

by different market segments.

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

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

Communication that is strategically written to target an audience segment and encourage them to purchase and engage with the brand. A properly developed messaging system defines how the brand “speaks” with the customer, while also capturing the nuance of the communication.

Mission Statement:
A formal declaration of the goals, values and purpose of a company. The mission statement defines why the company exists, what it aims to achieve and guides all decision-making. It serves as a company’s North Star, and is essentially the “who” and “why” of the brand story.

A typographic logo that visualizes a company’s initialism and can be used in lieu of a formal logo to represent the company. It is commonly used by fashion brands, such as Cartier or Philip Morris.

Mass Marketing:
Simultaneous, standardized marketing to a very large target market through mass media. Other names for this are market aggregation and undifferentiated marketing.


Here are some basic categories of brand names or corporate names:

Abstract Name:
A name that is entirely invented and has no meaning of its own. Examples: Google, Accenture, Twitter.

Associative Name:
A name that alludes to an aspect or benefit of the product or company. Examples: VISA, MasterCard.

Coined Name:
Any name that is in some way invented. Coined names can be descriptive (Co-Create), associative (Imation), or freestanding/abstract (Zeneca).

Descriptive Name:
A name that describes the product or service. Examples: Talking Pages, YouTube.

Evocative Name:
A brand name that suggests an association with an underlying benefit or conveys the positioning of the brand. Evocative names conjure emotions, imagery, metaphors and experiences in the mind of the consumer. Examples: Starbucks, Patagonia and Nike.

Experiential Name:
A brand name that describes the experience a customer will have with the brand. Examples: Pivot, Agility and Safari.

Freestanding Name:
A brand name that has no link to the product or service. Examples: Penguin, Apple.

Generic Name:
A brand name that describes an entire category of products or services and provides little differentiation. Examples: Global Shipping, Hotels.com and News Corp.

Niche Marketing:
Marketing adapted to the needs, wishes and expectations of small, precisely defined groups of individuals. A form of market segmentation, but aimed at very small segments. Niche marketing characteristically uses selective media.


The perception that a brand asset is consistent with how an audience expects a company to look, act or feel. A company that is consistently on-brand builds lasting, loyal relationships with its customers.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Market:
Consists of companies that use another company’s product as a component in their own production. A manufacturer of ball bearings, for example, sells both to OEM customers who build the bearings into machines and to end users who need the bearings as parts for machines that they have bought from the OEMs. Most manufacturing companies thus have an OEM market and a replacement market. The latter is usually called the MRO market, or aftermarket.

What a company offers for sale to customers. Includes the product and its design, features, quality, packaging, distribution, etc. together with associated services such as financing, warranties, and installation. The name and brand of the product are also part of the offering.

On-Brand Behavior:
Behavior of the organization and its people that consistently represents and strengthens the brand positioning and values. An important part of the company culture for ensuring that the company and its people are committed to delivering the desired brand experience to external audiences.


Parent Brand:
A brand that acts as an endorsement to one or more sub-brands. Parent brands are typically well-established and trusted by their audience, benefitting the sub-brands beneath it. Example: Coca-Cola, which has hundreds of sub-brands, including Dasani, Powerade and Simply Orange.

Personas (a.k.a. customer personas) describe an audience segment’s occupation, desires, actions, beliefs and anything that might influence their behavior with a brand, extending beyond demographics to psychographic motivators. This provides stakeholders with a consistent understanding of the audience during brand positioning and targeted communications.

Passing Off:
A legal action brought to protect the reputation of a particular trademark or brand. In essence, the action is designed to prevent others from trading on the reputation or goodwill of an existing trademark or brand. The action is available only in those countries that recognize unregistered trademark rights (for example, the USA and the UK). In some countries, it is called “unfair competition action.”

Perceptual Mapping Graphic:
Analysis and presentation of where actual and potential customers place a product or supplier in relation to other products and suppliers. Most perceptual maps show only two dimensions at a time: for example, price on one axis and quality on the other. There are also methods of graphically analyzing and presenting measurement data in three or more dimensions.

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

Private Label:
Private label products are sold under a brand name but manufactured by an outside company.

Product Brand:
A brand that is synonymous with a particular product offering; for example, Cheerios. Contrasted with a Service Brand, which represents a product consisting predominantly of intangible values. In this sense, a service is something that you do for someone, or a promise that you make to him or her.


Qualitative Research:
Research conducted through interviews, focus groups and other forms of observation. It provides context about an audience’s feelings, beliefs and motivations regarding a brand, product or service, with nuance and depth.

Quantitative Research:
Research that uses surveys, polls and questionnaires to provide numerical observations on large audience samples. It provides empirical answers to branding and marketing questions, and is often used to provide factual, projectable and statistically significant information for decision-making.


Takes place when a brand owner revisits the brand with the purpose of updating or revising it, based on internal or external circumstances. Often necessary after a merger or acquisition, and when a brand has outgrown its identity or its marketplace. Rebranding involves trying to get internal buy-in for an extensive rebrand.

Relative Market Share:
A company’s market share compared to those of its competitors. A large market share confers advantages of scale in product development, manufacturing, and marketing. It also puts the company in a stronger position in the minds of customers, which has a positive influence on pricing.

Reintroducing a product into a specific market. Implies that the company has previously marketed the product, but stopped. A relaunched product has usually undergone one or more changes. It may, for example, be technically modified, rebranded, distributed through different channels, or repositioned.

Communications activities to give an existing product a new position in the mind of the customers, in order to expand or otherwise alter its potential market. Many potentially valuable products lead an obscure existence because they were launched or positioned inadequately. It is almost always possible to enhance the value of such products by repositioning them.

The process by which a company introduces a new product or service to different geographical markets or consumer segments.


Service Brand:
A brand that is centered on people and customer service interactions, rather than products. Examples: Starbucks, Delta Airlines.

Selective Media:
Media which, unlike mass media, reaches only small and identifiable groups of people; for example, members of a particular profession or industry, or other groups defined by geographic, demographic, or psychographic data. Selective media is also known as targeted media.

Service Brand:
A product consisting predominantly of intangible values. “A service is something that you can buy and sell, but not drop on your foot.” (The Economist). In this sense, a service is something that you do for someone, or a promise that you make to him or her.

Service Mark:
A legally protected name for a product, service or offer; or, graphically, the notation indicating that such a product, service or offer is legally protected. Also known as a trademark.

Share of Mind:
In its most precise meaning, measures how often consumers think about a particular brand as a percentage of all the times they think about all the brands in its category; more loosely, can be defined simply as positive perceptions of the brand obtained by market research. Whereas market share measures the width of a company’s market position, share of mind can be said to measure its depth.

Share of Voice:
The media spending of a particular brand when compared to others in its category.

Any symbol and/or logotype that officially represents a company.

Style Guide:
A set of rules and policies for how and when to use the brand identity, to ensure consistency across all communications. Brand Real creates a comprehensive document or rulebook, typically on an intranet site, for easy to use, downloadable materials. It affirms the principles of a brand and provides guidance for understanding its legacy, vision, mission, personality, positioning, elevator pitch, tagline, logos and attributes. Brand standards inform staff, external agencies and vendors of the code under which the brand operates. It serves to establish appropriate usage, variants and application of each of the brand assets, and specifies how the elements fit together. Synonyms: Brand Standards, Brand Identity Guidelines.

A product or service that has its own name, design and identity, and is affiliated with a parent or masterbrand. A sub-brand benefits from the parent brand’s name recognition and consumer loyalty, but the sub-brand is never stronger than the parent brand. Examples: Coca-Cola Zero, Samsung Galaxy, Virgin Atlantic.

An acronym for a technique for analyzing a brand’s internal and external Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It provides an understanding of where and how the brand can improve, and how to set itself apart from competitors.

Symbols, the graphical portion of a logo, provide an instant way for consumers to recognize a brand. Well-known symbols that have become synonymous with their brand include McDonald’s Golden Arches, the Pillsbury Doughboy, or Starbucks’ Mermaid.


A short phrase used in advertising to help communicate and support the brand positioning.

Target Market:
The market segment, or group of customers, that a company has decided to serve and at which it aims its marketing activities.

Tangible assets include manufacturing plants, buildings, cash, investments, etc. Tangible brand attributes are the product and its packaging. Tangible brand values are the useful qualities of the brand known to exist through experience and knowledge.

The manufacturer or brand that people in market surveys name first when asked to list products in a specific category. Top-of mind is the highest degree of share of mind. To attain that position, a company normally needs to have a large share of voice in its category.

Any instance of interaction that a brand has with its audience. Touchpoints allow a brand to build a relationship with the consumer—each point should leave a lasting impression. Examples: A website, customer service interaction, business card, product packaging, social media post or an online review.

Any sign capable of being represented graphically and that distinguishes goods or services of one undertaking from those of another. Also known as a service mark.

Trademark Guarantee:
When a branding company, such as Brand Real, develops a new name for your product or service, this is backed up by research to ensure that the proposed name is trademarkable. (We don’t recommend that you come up with a name yourself or leave it to your ad agency. A specialist, such as Brand Real, offers a trademark guarantee for most branding projects.)

Trademark Infringement:
The unauthorized use of a registered trademark, or of one that is confusingly similar to it, on the registered goods or services – or, in certain circumstances, on similar or dissimilar goods and services.

Someone or something that breaks a traditional mold or routine, and gains a following because of it. iMac is an example of trendsetting in design, because office supplies now come in the familiar

colors and translucent packaging of the iMac.

The method of displaying text. This covers font styles, sizes, and colors.


User Segmentation:
Division of potential customers into market segments according to how and for what purpose they use a product.

UBP (Unique Buying Proposition):
A distinctive and intentional brand position in customers’ minds that is encouraged by brand awareness. It answers the question, “How does this product or service uniquely meet my needs?” and can encompass product features, emotional/lifestyle benefits and other qualities. UBP is the reason customers choose a product over competitors.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition):
A distinctive and intentional strategy in marketing a brand that provides differentiation in the marketplace, typically by focusing on product features. It influences how a product or service is put in front of a target audience.


Value Proposition/Statement:
A set declaration of standards, principles or ideals promoted by a brand that targets both customers and stakeholders. A brand’s value proposition typically highlights brand integrity, dedication or importance and can be key in brand positioning.

Verbal Identity:
The non-visual elements that define a brand identity in written communications and spoken language. Consistency in verbal identity can be recognized by phrases, tone of voice and the brand persona.

Vision Statement:
A vision statement is what the brand aims to become and how you’re going to succeed in getting there. By its very nature, the vision is forward-looking and grand.

Visual Identity:
What a brand looks like, including, among other things, its logo, typography, packaging, and literature systems.


A brand’s logo that includes the typography of a full company name, without other visual graphic elements. Examples: Canon, Panasonic, Google, Sony.