What is branding? This article explores definitions from 10 leading experts to examine key themes like brand, differentiation, and consumer perceptions.
Branding is an important concept for any business looking to establish itself in the marketplace.
What exactly is branding?
In this article, we will examine definitions and insights on branding from 10 leading experts in the field.
Understanding branding from multiple perspectives gives a well-rounded view on this critical aspect of business strategy.
Expert 1 - Alina Wheeler
Alina Wheeler is a Philadelphia-based author, educator, and branding consultant.
She is best known for her book "Designing Brand Identity: an essential guide for the entire branding team," a comprehensive and visually stimulating guide to creating compelling brand identities.
Alina Wheeler defines branding as:
"Branding is the process of creating mental structures and helping consumers organize their knowledge about products and services in a way that clarifies their decision making."
Branding involves creating mental associations in the minds of consumers.
It helps organize product/service information to facilitate consumer decision-making.
Expert 2 - Marty Neumeier
Marty Neumeier is a prolific author and speaker primarily known for his work in the realm of branding.
His seminal books "The Brand Gap" and "ZAG" provide insightful guides to modern brand creation and differentiation, offering a fresh and relevant perspective to the field.
Marty Neumeier's definition of what is a brand:
"A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It's not what YOU say it is. It's what THEY say it is."
Branding is about what consumers feel and believe, not what companies say.
It's defined by the total impression consumers have of a brand.
Expert 3 - David Aaker
David Aaker is a recognized authority on branding, having developed several notable concepts in the field.
He's particularly famous for the Aaker Model, a brand equity model that highlights the necessity of brand identity.
His numerous publications have influenced and shaped the world of brand management.
David Aaker defines a brand as:
"A distinguishing name and/or symbol (such as a logo, trademark, or package design) intended to identify the goods or services of either one seller or a group of sellers, and to differentiate those goods or services from those of competitors."
Branding includes names, logos, designs that identify and differentiate.
It signifies a specific company's product/service.
Expert 4 - Seth Godin
Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and public speaker who has become an influential figure in the marketing and branding world.
Known for his forward-thinking concepts, Godin’s works such as "Purple Cow" and "Tribes" have revolutionized the way businesses perceive and interact with their customers.
His brand definition is:
"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another."
Branding is about the experiences and relationships consumers have with a product/service.
It influences consumer purchasing choices.
Expert 5 - Laura Ries
Laura Ries is a branding expert and the co-founder of Ries & Ries, a consulting firm.
Alongside her father and business partner, Al Ries, Laura co-authored several influential books on branding and marketing.
Including "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding" (link) and "The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR." (link).
She defines a brand as:
"A brand is a unique promise that connects a product or service to a customer."
Branding revolves around a promise of value to the customer.
It binds a product/service and company to its customers.