Brand is just a noun

 talktojason about branding



  • A particular identity or image regarded as an asset
  • A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name

Does your brand proposition measure up to your brand identity?

When you ask an agency to come up with a brand proposition, what do you think they will come up with? I bet it’s a logo design supported by a strapline. But that’s not a brand! That’s a look with a clever sound bite thrown in.

In fact that’s the sort of ‘brand’ you find on cattle. A brand is not a logo or a strapline but a personality, an emotional association with something. The logo is the face of the brand and the strapline is the brand’s aspirations.

I still, even in today’s consumer-driven economy come across ‘brand agencies’ (AKA design agencies) that believe a ‘brand’ is a creative logo and clever strapline.

Don’t get me wrong, I have also come across a few brand agencies that really understand what a brand is, but I do think they are out numbered by the ‘design agencies’, come brand consultants.

I learnt a long time ago that you don’t create a brand then get people to buy into it; you create a proposition (after careful consideration) whose publics give it brand value. It’s then up to the brand owners – its guardians to maintain its positive brand value. This, if managed carefully is what ensures the brand proposition matches its perceived brand identity.

Now that the value of a brand is seen as crucial to consumers, so it is important to the stakeholders, which explains why investors are just as interested in the brand policy as they are in the accounts.  Negative brand propositions kill business!

So what must a company do to ensure its brand proposition measures up to the desired brand identity? To get it right you must understand your consumers’ aspirations, their likes and dislikes. Only then can you understand which messages work, which channels to use and how your brand proposition must operate. It’s at this point you will also understand what activities throughout the brand’s life-cycle must be put in place to maintain an equal proposition-to-identity ratio. In other words, you must create the brand bible for which everyone must read, digest and understand. There’s no point the marketing department implementing programmes just for the sales team to do their own – brand messages are communication in both words and actions. Even the receptionist has an important part to play.

Would you like to know more? …talktojason



  • A fully grown female animal of a domesticated breed of ox, used as a source of milk or beef: a dairy cow. See cattle.



  • Large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk, or as beasts of burden; cows.

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