What is a Brand?

In detail, a brand is a person’s gut feeling, a collection of memories, expectations, and relationships, towards a particular product, service, or organization. The brand is what floods the memories and feelings of a person every time he hears the name or sees the visual representation of the product, the service, or the organization.

Because people are emotional and intuitive beings, brands are defined by the sum total of the people’s general feelings. Brands can’t be forced, not even with the intervention of other companies. Brands will continue to be the story, driven by experiences and expectations, written by the people themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, branding is not about logos. It's about the public's perception of your company, which means that you're not actually in control of your brand.

Contrary to popular belief, branding is not about logos. It's about the public's perception of your company, which means that you're not actually in control of your brand.

Why do Brands Matter?

Brands matter today more than ever because of the staggering number of choices that surround us and the decreasing span of attention the people have these days. With features and qualities that are almost identical and too little time, people will have to rely on products, services, and organization they can trust.

People, in general, trust brands. People will always trust the ones that consistently deliver their promise, the ones that clearly stand above the growing crowd.

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The Value and Danger of a Brand - How Do We Know the Value of Brands?

Every time a customer, regardless if they’re an individual or another business, paid a premium for your products or services, chose your organization over dozens of other choices, or spread good word about your brand personally or through digital platforms, then you’ll know that your brand has delivered its value.

Brands, alone, can help you achieve a significant portion of the market share, increase total yearly net revenues, or command better prices for your products or services. These reason are why successful brands like Disney, Apple, Coca Cola, and Mcdonald’s painstakingly ensure that their intended brand perception is aligned with their customer’s definition of their brand.

A company’s branding strategy can be branded as a failure when their target customer defined their brand differently than what they intended it to be. This phenomenon is called ‘misaligned brand perception’ which is harmful and close to impossible to reverse. It takes effort and skill in maintaining this alignment and having a good marketing agency dedicated in protecting your brand will become more crucial as your business grows.

This painful and costly failure is the very reason why organizations are strongly encouraged to create their very own brand briefs.

Creating a Brand Brief

The brand brief is a tool you’ll need to help you guide your brand internally. It allows your product, your service, or organization to properly share its brand, its story, and the values it intends to share.

A brand brief typically has 4 elements, which reveals important aspects of your brand and a rough plan on how it should be perceived. By deciding on the attributes of the 4 elements of your

brand brief, you can now position your brand in a way you wanted it to be perceived.


Personality serves as the identifiable trait of your brand. It answers the question, ‘Who are you?’. This is the critical element of your brand brief that allows people to recognize your brand and drives customer loyalty.


Values are the ethically-driven element of your brand brief. It answers the question, ‘How do you operate?’. Values strengthen your personality and endear your brand to the people, making it a crucial part of your brand brief.


Mission is the driving element behind your brand brief.  It answers the question, ‘Why?’. Knowing only the ‘What’ without the ‘Why’ deprives your brand of passion and personality, which is required to stand out and deliver an enduring brand.


The promise is the element of the brand brief that makes the people trust your product, service, or organization. It is what makes them stay. The promise is the glue that keeps the first three elements together, this is the reason why brands should always deliver their promise, from their business values right down to their mission as an organization.

Since a brand brief starts with brand personality, you should first set out and define your brand’s Minimum Viable Personality (MVP).

Defining your Brand’s Minimum Viable Personality

Getting the first crucial element of your brand brief, your Minimum Viable Personality, can be easily defined by asking yourself three simple questions:

  1. How can you change customer’s life?

  2. What do you stand for?

  3. What do you hate?

By answering these three questions, you didn’t only achieve your MVP but also gained a critical insight towards your brand’s mission and values, as well as the problem your product, your service, and your organization has set out to solve.

Steven Matt

I am the Director of Digital Marketing at one of the world’s largest financial institutions. I teach Digital Marketing courses to small businesses on behalf of the NYC government and General Assembly in NYC. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelors degree in Communications Design. I have a Masters degree in Management and Technology from New York University. In my spare time, I organize volunteer glass cleanups in NYC parks and I make jewelry out of the broken glass that I and the volunteers collect. I sell the designs at an artisan market in Brooklyn.