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What Is A Brand?

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Branding is more than just the design of a website or the product’s packaging. It's something intangible that brings immediate recognition and response.

Think of tech-giant Apple. What comes first to mind? iPhone, MacBook, iPad, or Apple Watch?

Dig deeper. Better yet, ask yourself what makes Apple, well, Apple?

Apple is more than just the products they put out. The brand's most valuable asset is their identity, the presentation, and the overall "Apple ecosystem" experience. It's what sets them apart from Samsung or Google.

They've done so well that no other company comes close. That's how a great and strong branding should be - the ability to attract and encapsulate the audience to choose products or services over others.

So, how do you create a strong and memorable brand like Apple? Let's break down the fundamentals.

There are a lot of different brand elements to consider but today we're going to stick with the essentials.

Brand Mission

Ok, let's say you're in the tech space. We all know there are thousands of brands in the same industry already.

So, how do you make yourself stand out?

You can start by identifying the company's mission statement. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What pain points do you solve?

  • How do you solve them?

  • Why should people choose you over others?

By truthfully answering these questions, you set yourself up for an actionable plan to a brand strategy that lasts. You'll know your positioning and identity. Moreover, you will have a bigger picture of how valuable your products or services are to your audience.

I'm a fan if Simon Sinek, and the Golden Circle he defined asks us to start with WHY, for the below reasons.

Remember, a brand's mission is not just a cumulative definition of the mission statement. It also identifies and answers the business's purpose, vision, values, and even strategic objectives.

Company Culture

There's something to say about an internal audience too - your own team!

Behind every successful brand is a team of highly motivated employees that genuinely cares about turning the company mission into a reality.

Achieving a sense of togetherness is more than just having a ping pong table or free lunch. It stems from the company's rock-solid core values and principles.

Brand Personality

As mentioned, a brand is intangible but it doesn't mean you can't give its own identity.

Let's take a look again Apple.

The brand has its distinct personality - it's minimalist, chic, and modern.

These elements make them easily identifiable compared to others.

So, what is your brand's personality?

Does it have a personable and friendly tone or does it aim for a sophisticated and classy vibe?

Brand Architecture

Brand architecture is based on in-depth consumer experience and behaviour research. There are two popular brand architecture systems - monolithic and pluralistic.

The latter, which is also often referred to as endorsed, has a parent brand with different divisions. Meanwhile, monolithic has one master brand with sub-brands.

An example of monolithic brand architecture is FedEx. The master brand is FedEx Corporation while the sub-brands are FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, and so on. They use different colours for the sub-brands as an identifier.

As for endorsed or pluralistic, take a look at Nestle. They have Nespresso, Nestea, and Nescafe. These sub-brands may have a unique name but they have familiar or similar design elements from their parent Nestle brand.

Name & Tagline

What is the brand name and tagline?

Does it evoke emotion, narrative, or both?

In-depth market research helps narrow down the choices.

You don't want to have a name and tagline that doesn’t do anything for the company. Remember, a strong name, either acronym or descriptive, should leave a long-lasting impression.

Brand Identity

Your company's brand identity is more than the colour theme, logo, and packaging. It should be able to visually represent the brand's mission, personality, strategy, and even positioning.

A brand identity is your company's visual or aesthetic symbol of what you are offering.

Brand Voice & Messaging

Consumers can identify your brand not solely on the visual elements. They can also recognize you with how you convey voice and messaging.

So, every time you put out marketing material like a digital ad or a website copy, make sure your audience can quickly identify that it's your brand.

Brand Website

A website lets you combine all the brand elements in one centralized place. It gives your target consumer a holistic branding experience. Make sure to have the website mobile-friendly since the majority of internet users are always on the go.


Building a brand that is memorable and identifiable is more than just putting out cutting edge products or having a unique package.

It’s a consolidation of several branding elements such as mission, personality, voice, name and tagline, and more.

(article inspiration: and

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