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What’s in a brand?

“Branding is meaning. The meaning of your work, of your message, and of your product.”

The advent of social media and the ability to have a direct dialogue between brand and audience has finally given us the means—and a challenge—to give brands a truly human dimension.

This challenge is reflected in the sheer number of varying definitions of “brand”:

“A brand is the essence of one’s own unique story.” - Paul Biedermann of re:DESIGN

“Branding is more than a name and a symbol. A brand is created and influenced by people, visuals, culture, style, perception, words, messages, PR, opinions, news media, and especially social media.” - Lisa Buyer of the Buyer Group

“Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.” - Ashley Friedlein of Econsultancy

It’s not just a name or logo, it’s something tangible. It’s not just your product or service, but something more than that. It’s something that exists in a grey area between product, person, and idea.

With so many definitions abound, it almost feels as if the word ‘brand’ has no real meaning – and if it does, it must be a rather nebulous one. But the common ground touched upon by many of these definitions lies precisely in this ambiguity – that of the brand as a type of identity, something that is to be moulded in order to create a unique entity.