An A-Z of Branding Terms

An A-Z of Branding Terms

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If you do not know the difference between 'brand culture', 'brand gap' and 'brand essence', then read on. Here we provide a glossary of all the core branding terms.

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A brand (as opposed to ‘branding’) is the outward image of a company (or product). It encompasses & creates the company’s personality, ability and reputation.

Brand Activation
Brand activation is the general marketing strategy that serves to connect the company (or product) to the audience whether by marketing and sales collateral or active experiences such as events, campaigns and sponsorships.

Brand Ambassador
A brand ambassador is the perceived face or ‘spokesperson’ of a brand. Whether this is an employee (eg Chairman), celebrity endorser or even a cartoon character, the brand ambassador represents the values and essence of the brand.

Brand Architecture
Brand architecture is the framework within a company identifies, positions and manages their own brands and sub-brands.

Brand Assets
Brand assets are the individual (typically visual) elements that help shape & communicate the whole brand. This includes the brand logo, strapline, imagery, colours, fonts, patterns, etc.

Brand Audit
A brand audit is a check-up on a brand’s health to understand performance, position and customer insights. It looks at strengths and weaknesses throughout the brand identity, brand collateral and brand experience. Read more.

Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the recognition & familiarity of a brand’s values and personality by its consumers.

Brand Collateral
Brand collateral (otherwise known as marketing collateral) is the list of all the company’s media and materials such as literature, advertising, leaflets, website.

Brand Consistency
Brand consistency is the structured maintenance of a brand’s visual identity across all communication channels.

Brand Culture
Brand culture is the system of underlying beliefs, values, experiences, and material traits of a company, shared between employers, employees (and consumers).

Brand Differentiation
Brand differentiation is the methodology of a brand being able to set itself apart from its competitors. Whether by strengths, value, service, quality, range, cost, etc.  

Brand Equity
Brand equity is the added value of a brand. It refers to the value customers placed upon the company (or products) as opposed to a competitor.

Brand Essence
The brand essence is a short statement that expresses the core of what that brand represents. Often the brand essence is expressed in two or three words.

Brand Experience
The brand experience is the sum of all interactions a consumer may have with the brand.

Brand Extension
rand extension (otherwise known as ‘brand stretching’) is when a company introduces one of its established brands (with existing brand equity) into a new sector or product area.

Brand Gap
The brand gap is the noticeable difference between what a brand’s marketing initiatives originally intended to do and how customers now perceive that brand.  

Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines (otherwise known as a brand book, brand guide or style guide) are branding terms that describe a set of ‘rules’ that outline the make up and usage of the brand identity. Typically, this is a created as a physical or digital document and serves as a reference for employees and designers to ensure a consistent representation of the brand across different channels. Read more.

Brand Identity
The brand identity (otherwise known as corporate identity) is all the visual & verbal personality of a company (or product). Read more.

Brand Image
The brand image is the overall feeling & impression consumers gain from their experience with a brand.

Brand Launch
A brand launch is the process in which a new brand is presented to the public for the first time. This can be achieved through a hard launch (all new assets are made public at same time) or a soft launch (where only some are introduced with little marketing push).

Brand Logo
A brand logo is the graphic symbol used to represent and identify a brand.

Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is the consumers’ tendency to remain devoted to a particular brand over an extended period.

Brand Management
Brand management is the branding terms used to describe the process of using marketing strategies to maintain a brand’s reputation and continued awareness over time.

Brand Messaging
Brand messaging is the communication of the brand values in the right words. This can include strapline, website copy, tone of voice, etc.

Brand Mission
The brand mission is the fundamental purpose of the brand, defining why the brand exists and what it wants to achieve.

Brand Name
A brand name is actual name of the company, product, event or service. Read more.

Brand Perception
Brand perception is the overall impression people have of a brand, based on their brand experience.

Brand Personality
Brand personality is a set of human characteristics assigned to a brand, consistent with its values.

Brand Pillars
Brand pillars are core foundations upon which a brand is built. These are typically the brand’s differentiating values, beliefs and attributes

Brand Positioning
Brand positioning is the perception & positioning of a brand in the market relative to its competitors.

Brand Promise
The brand promise is the value and experience consumers can expect to get from a brand each time they interact with it.

Brand Proposition
A brand proposition (also called a ‘brand statement’) is a statement about your company that demonstrates the benefits of using your brand to your consumers.

Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is the ability for consumers to recognise and identify a company against its competitors based on visual, verbal or auditory cues.   

Brand Reputation
Brand reputation is the collective perception and trust of a brand.

Brand Strategy
Brand strategy is a structured framework to determines how businesses position themselves in the market and presents themselves to consumers. This lays the foundations for its brand values and brand personality and sets clear goals to achieve this. Read more.

Brand Values
Brand values are the core beliefs held by a company that underline its purpose and guide its decisions and behaviour.

Brand Vision
The brand vision is the ultimate goal the brand is striving for.

Brand Voice
The brand voice is the branding terms used for the tone, style and personality a brand adopts in its communications.

Branding is the process of establishing the identity of a brand.

Branding Agency
A branding agency is a specialist agency that focuses on strategically identifying, positioning and establishing a brand in the competitive marketplace.

Co-branding is a branding terms to suggest a partnership in which two or more brands with similar values jointly develop and promote a product, service or campaign.

Rebranding is the act of changing a brand to a new identity. The new brand may be differentiated by visual appearance or simply by perception.

A strapline (otherwise known as a slogan or tagline) is a short phrase used to portray the brand’s identity without using the brand name. Typically, this promotes the product, service or values of the brand.

Are there any other branding terms you feel we have missed? Drop us a line and we will happily add it to our list.

See also:
>> Creating a Powerful Brand
>> Developing the Brand Name
>> The Importance of the Brand Audit
>> The Importance of Brand Guidelines