Shannon Clark


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What is a Brand anyway?

author Posted by: ShannonBlogPosts on date May 17th, 2008 | filed Filed under: my Blogs

Food dot com Shimla India

My personal and favorite definition is “A Brand is a promise”.

At the most basic level a good or service which is “branded” has an implicit promise that it is, in fact, from the owner of that brand and they (whether a company or an individual) stand behind their product. In most cases a branded good or service is also promised to be consistent, if you get the same product again it will again meet what has been promised.

This does not, however, always mean that every time you buy that product it is the same – some brands might promise uniqueness or constant variety, while also maintaining other promises – quality, taste, service, fair prices.

An error made often by companies is having a brand for which no clear promise can be ascribed. Frequently the promise is summed up in the tag phrases that accompany the Brand marketing and advertising – many companies today change these messages rapidly often using many different phrases and promises.

This is not to say that a Brand has only one promise, many brands offer a range of related promises but most great brands, Slow Brands, usually have a clear and dominant promise associated with their brand. Historically, for example, Volvo = “Safe”. Perhaps with the additional promise of “safe and a bit boring”.

And yes, this meant that Volvo’s did not tend to attract young, single males as buyers. But for Volvo’s primary audience of families (and more typically usually mothers) “safe and a bit boring” was quite compelling.

Recently a new site, Brand Tags has launched which asks people to tag with a single word or phrase a variety of brands.

Take a look at how Apple has been tagged.

Now compare that to how Dell has been tagged.

Which company would you rather be?

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