How do you define “brand?” Blog it here.

Exercise caution when you use the word “brand.” You may be saying “elephant” while your listener is hearing only “trunk.”

The word ‘brand’ is widely misunderstood and misused, even by marketing professionals. The holistic nature of brand includes a huge range of factors, from the most obvious identity components to every nuance of actions and employee body language. It’s the sum of these nuances as well as the not-so-nuancy stuff that provides people with a brand impression…the big picture of what an entity or idea stands for in their mind.

I once had a CEO client who asked us to “re-energize” his organization’s brand. Three weeks later, I came back to him with a complete proposal and time line including research and process to help define the brand, messaging to communicate it, and an internal campaign to get employees on board. Finally the proposal recommended a channel launch and external campaign to get the word out to distributors and customers.

On the day of the presentation, my bewildered CEO listened politely for half an hour before he said, “All I wanted was an updated logo.”

My advice? Put together a standardized deck of fewer than 10 PowerPoint slides to orient people around you to the holistic brand. It could save you a lot of angst and time. If you need a deck fast, just contact me.

How do you define brand? Blog it here.