What Is (Not) a Brand?
#2 David Ogilvy

Published by Michal Sobel on September 15, 2020.

In Under the Nanoscope: What Is (Not) a Brand? series, we select one definition of a brand from a well respected source and examine it under our nanoscope.

The Statement

A brand is: The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.

— Source: David Ogilvy (2010)

The Facts

Argument #1: Unmeasurable

The intangible sum without defined its variables can't be measured. But let's say you figure out how to measure each variable. What if you don't have a packaging? You can't have a brand? Or what if you have no history? What if you don't advertise and you get the growth from people spreading the word?

Argument #2: Advertising Masked as Branding

The cook book is just a list of all advertising agency's services (naming, packaging, pricing, market positioning and advertising) put together into a bundle and sold with a handsome price tag as a brand.


This is not a definition of a brand. This is another trick from advertising agency how to sell all their services with a single shot.

Under the Nanoscope Series
What Is (Not) a Brand?

We focus on finding answers to the deepest questions in branding to separate beliefs from fact by science.