Brand Glossary


A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, association, trademark or design which is intended to identify the products or services of one provider or group of providers, and to differentiate them from those of competitors. A brand has functional and emotional elements which create a relationship between customers and the product or service.

Brand Attributes

Brand attributes are the functional and emotional associations which are assigned to a brand by its customers and prospects. Brand attributes can be either negative or positive, and can have different degrees of relevance and importance to different customer segments, markets and cultures. Brand attributes are the basic elements for establishing a brand identity.

Brand Audit

A brand audit is a comprehensive and systematic examination of a brand involving activities (both tangible and intangible) to assess the health of the brand, uncover its sources of equity and suggest ways to improve and leverage that equity. The brand audit requires the understanding of brand equity sources from the perspective of both the firm and the consumer.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a common measure of marketing communications effectiveness. Brand awareness is measured as the proportion of target customers which has prior knowledge of the brand. It is measured by two distinct measures; brand recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition is the customers' ability to confirm prior exposure/knowledge of a brand when shown or asked explicitly about the brand (also referred to as aided or prompted awareness). Brand recall is the customers' ability to retrieve a brand from memory when given the product category but not mentioning of the brand (also referred to as spontaneous or unaided awareness).

Brand Champion

Brand champions are internal and external story tellers who spread the brand vision, brand values and cultivate the brand in an organisation. Every organisation needs committed and passionate brand champions. The more employees the organisation can turn into brand champions, the better will it be equipped to build and maintain strong brand equity. Singapore Airlines, L'Oreal, Harley Davidson, Nike, Google and LEGO are well-known examples of companies which benefit tremendously from their employees being strong and dedicated brand champions.

Brand Culture

Strong brands are managed by organisations characterized by their strong internal brand cultures. A strong brand culture is determined by the internal attitudes towards branding, management behaviour and practices of an organisation. These combined efforts are crucial to build and maintain strong brand equity through competitive advantages from branding. The most prominent person to lead these efforts is the CEO and the senior management team.

Brand Equity

The brand equity concept stresses the importance of a brand in marketing strategies, and has become a leading indicator in measuring the strength and value of a brand. Brand equity is defined in terms of the marketing effects uniquely attributable to the brand. Brand equity relates to the fact that different outcomes result in the marketing of a product or service because of its brand name, as compared to if the same product or service did not have that name. Brand equity can be measured across different dimensions like brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, brand associations etc.

Brand Equity Strategy

An organisation wants to build and maintain strong brand equity for the respective brands in their portfolio including the corporate brand. The brand equity strategy serves as a guide for these marketing efforts and illustrates the plans and tactics needed to meet the brand objectives.

Brand Essence

The brand essence is an articulation of the "heart and soul" of the brand. A brand essence is typical three to five short word phrases that capture the core essence or spirit of the brand positioning and the values characterizing the brand. The brand essence is the description which defines a brand and the guiding vision of the brand.

Branding Excellence

Branding Excellence is both an indicator of brand strength and a unique measure of the brand leadership capabilities of an organisation. Strong brands create profitable businesses, and organisations must seek to obtain branding Excellence to benefit and leverage fully from branding. A strong brand is characterized by a unique brand promise, and an outstanding brand delivery, and branding excellence measures this balance and the outcome including guidance on how to improve. Branding Excellence measures and describes how brand leadership internally in a corporation can add significant value in terms of brand strength and brand value.

Brand Expansion

The exposure of a brand to a broader target customer market, geographic market, or distribution channels.

Brand Extension

The application of a brand beyond its initial range of products, or outside of its category. This becomes possible when the brand image and attributes have contributed to a perception with the consumer/user where the brand and not the product is the decision driver.

Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are internal tools available in an organisation to educate, reinforce and motivate all involved in building and maintaining strong brands. Brand guidelines are crucial in establishing and enhancing a strong and dedicated brand culture. The brand guidelines can take various forms and methods, and could consist of brand vision, brand identity, brand strategy guidelines, a short description of the brand, brand values, brand positioning, positioning guidelines, communication tips, writing style guidelines, design style guidelines, and company-wide contact details to obtain more information from central brand management.

Brand Identity

A unique set of functional and mental associations the brand aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand should ideally stand for in the minds of customers, and imply a potential promise to customers. It is important to keep in mind that the brand identity refers to the strategic goal for a brand while the brand image is what currently resides in the minds of consumers.

Brand Image

A unique set of associations within the minds of target customers which represent what the brand currently stands for and implies the current promise to customers. The brand image is what is currently in the minds of consumers, whereas brand identity is aspirational from the brand owners' point of view.

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is the strength of preference for a brand compared to other similar available brand options. It is measured through a range of different dimensions e.g. repeat purchase behavior, price sensitivity.

Brand Management

Brand management is the process of managing an organisation's brand or portfolio of brands in order to maintain and increase long-term brand equity and financial value. Brand management is applied by the person or group responsible for designing brand identities, aligning them for maximum effectiveness, ensuring that they are not compromised by tactical actions, evaluating effectiveness of brand communication programs, valuing financial brand value, and designing appropriate brand crisis management plans among many other strategic and tactical tasks.

Brand Mapping

Brand mapping is a research technique to identify and visualize the core positioning of a brand compared to competing brands on various dimensions.

Brand Personality

The brand personality is the brand image or brand identity expressed in terms of human characteristics. The brand personality must ideally include distinguishing and identifiable characteristics which offer consistent, enduring and predictable messages and mental perceptions.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the "market space" a brand is perceived to occupy in the mind of the target audience. All strong marketing communications programs need to focus on only few messages to achieve better impact in an increasingly noisy environment. The brand positioning is the part of the brand identity that management decides to actively communicate to the market.

Brand Positioning Statement

A brand positioning statement describes the "mental space" a brand should occupy in the minds of a target audience. It serves as an internal document which guides most of a company's marketing communications strategies, programs and tactics. The brand positioning statement focuses on the elements and associations which meaningfully set a brand apart from the competition. It is typically constructed in the following format: "To (target market), Brand X is the brand of (frame of reference) that (point of difference) because (reasons).

Brand Power

A measure of the ability of the brand to dominate its product category.

Brand Recall

Brand recall is the customers' ability to retrieve a brand from memory when given the product category but not mentioning of the brand (also referred to as spontaneous or unaided awareness).

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is the customers' ability to confirm prior exposure/knowledge of a brand when shown or asked explicitly about the brand (also referred to as aided or prompted awareness).

Brand Relevance

Brand recall is the customers' ability to retrieve a brand from memory when given the product category but not mentioning of the brand (also referred to as spontaneous or unaided awareness).

Brand Revitalisation

Brand revitalization of a fading brand or a portfolio of brands is sometimes necessary for an organisation. Changes in the marketing environment, competitors' strategies, consumer behaviour, evolutions of cultures and many other factors can lead to erosion of the brand equity over time. A brand revitalization program is involving strategies to recapture lost sources of brand equity and ways to identify and establishing new sources of brand equity for the brand or the brand portfolio.

Brand Slogan/ Brand tagline

An easily and recognisable and memorable phrase which often accompanies a brand name in marketing communications programs. The brand slogan and tagline helps customers to remember the brand and reinforces mental associations. Consistent and well-known examples are Nike "Just do it", HSBC "The world's local bank", HP "Invent", and Singapore Airlines "A Great Way to Fly".

Brand Strategy

The 'big picture' plans and tactics deployed by an organisation/brand owner to create long-term brand equity and competitive advantages from branding.

Brand Tribe

The modern consumer is buying experiences rather than commodities hence the importance of branding in many product and service categories. Therefore, the consumer decision process involves brand attributes and brand associations, which are largely image driven, intangible and symbolic. The group as a social institution serves as an important part of these consumer decisions as the importance and strengths of intangible brand attributes and brand values are related to how these factors are perceived and ranked in a group or clusters of groups of which the consumer is part of. A brand tribe is a formal or informal group of consumers whom share the same awareness, passion and loyalty for a brand or a portfolio of brands. Brand tribes can be identified as strong drivers of brand strengths for many international brands like LEGO, Bang & Olufsen, Nike, Giorgio Armani, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Singapore Airlines, Timberland and many other unique brands.

Brand Value

Brand value is the financial premium derived from loyal target audiences committed to a brand and willing to pay extra for the brand as compared to a generic product or service in the same category. The brand value can be calculated in financial terms and demonstrates the value of the brand or a portfolio of brands as part of a corporation's intangible assets. The valuation of brands is important for several reasons. Shareholders and advisors can assess the financial value of their corporate brand, an individual brand or a portfolio of brands. Management teams can benefit from the brand value as a useful tool for measuring performance, for taxation purposes, in an event of an acquisition or disposal. Financiers can use the brand value when assessing the borrowing capacity of a company when arranging funding facilities. An increasing number of lending institutions recognize the value of intangible assets such as brands as collateral for loans.

Brand Value Proposition

The functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits delivered by the brand that combined provide value to the customer. The brand value propositions provide the rationale (tangible and intangible dimensions and associations) for making one brand choice over other available brand choices.