What Is (Not) a Brand?

Published by Jan Knap, M.D. on October 1, 2020.

What have we learned (after analysing ten definitions of a brand) from the world’s most respected sources in branding or marketing?

#1: Not a Single Definition

None of reviewed statements is in fact a definition. Authors express here their personal “opinions” or “beliefs” about what a brand could be instead of defining general rules or principles to prove what a brand is—or with the same relevance— is not.

#2: Brand Isn't a Thing

The common denominator for all statements is the fact that authors believe a brand is something. Besides, most authors describe a brand as the sum (set, combination, container) of many parts of something. This shows their intuitive mechanical and many—component—like view about brands.

#3: Two Incompatible Views

Authors use two different approaches to describe a brand:

Preferences of each author are based on his own psychological typology and personality profile—i. e. logical and rational (pragmatist) or creative and emotional (idealist). It shows that authors simply describe a brand based on their subjective judgement and belief rather than on evidence—based facts.

#4: Statements Without Evidence

None of reviewed authors even tries to present any proof or evidence to support their opinion. In addition, each statement is either logically incoherent or there is nothing really quantifiable or measurable to prove what they claim is true.

#5: They Don't Know What a Brand Is

None of reviewed authors even bothers to define “what brands really do” rather than to describe “what they think brands are”. In any case—based on our analysis of ten respected global sources in brand industry—we can safely say that none of these top ten players really understands brands.

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What Is (Not) a Brand?

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