Friday, September 07, 2007

What is a Brand?

I recently heard a very succinct and compelling answer to the question, "how do you define the concept of a brand?"

The answer, from the CEO of E&J Gallo Winery,...

"A brand is a promise to a customer of quality, image, and differentiation."

The definition elegantly boils down a complex concept to five key elements:
  1. a promise...a commitment from the company.
    1. Employees across the organization need to internalize that promise and live up to the commitment that is at the heart of the company/customer relationship
  2. a customer
    1. the company needs to understand the interests, demographic profile, characteristics, motivations of the customer. What makes them tick? Who are they?
    2. A clear picture of the target customer helps align the product, sales and marketing strategy, and positioning with the customer's interests and needs
  3. quality
    1. a it an experience, physical good, or relationship
  4. an image
    1. a set of mental associations that complement the interests and self-image of the customer
  5. a differentiation
    1. a clearly unique proposition that is effectively communicated to and understood by the customer
I think all five elements are worthy of thought and reflection.
  • what is your brand's promise?
  • who is your brand's customer?
  • what is your brand's quality?
  • what is your brand's image, mental associations, characteristics?
  • what is your brand's differentiation?
Simple questions with surprisingly hard answers.

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