What Is a Brand?


Our definition: The core identity of your business, including its mission, personality, and unique value.

Official definition: “A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name” (Oxford American English Dictionary).

Origins: From the 1500s through the 1700s, a brand was an "identifying mark made by a hot iron” usually used to prove which cattle belonged to you and not to someone else. By 1827 it had expanded to mean “a particular make of goods.”

A brand is not:

  • A description of your business. Your brand is a living thing that exists in people’s mind and can only be partially captured in words and text.
  • Your name, logo, or website. While every message and design should reflect your brand, it is not limited to any one perspective or touchpoint.
  • Whatever you want it to be. It is informed by who you are, who people say you are, and who you want to be. Because it emerges from the relationship of these elements, your brand cannot be faked or forced. But it can be shaped.