Brand Glossary

Brand Glossary: The Meaning is in the words

Because it is important that we all understand exactly what we hear and say, we have included a short glossary of terms we commonly use.

A brand glossary of the most common branding terms
Brand glossary of common terms

Language is the basis for brand communications. It is important that when we speak to one another there must be clarity. Most of this you probably know. But it felt right to us to include a glossary of branding terms and language on our site.

What we do, as a branding company, is not rocket science but it does require the ability to think critically. We are reminded of an axiom from Picasso who asked everyone to remember that omission is an art form. So, to that end, say what you mean and mean what you say.

Because of our mission to find every possible means of growing market share, Stealing Share wants everyone on the same page and a glossary of branding terms is a great start.

For a better explanation why not call us? We state emphatically that if you give us an hour we will change everything you believed to be true about brand strategy and branding companies. We raised the bar and challenge you to hold us to a higher standard. After all, we invented our processes and stand behind our results. We tell you upfront that we are not for everybody.

3Ps – Process, Purpose, and Precept. The 3Ps are Stealing Share’s means for developing brand positions for market research.

Actionable – Measurable, tangible results.

Anthropology – Human culture and development (See Brand Anthropology).

Area of Influence – The area covered by a brand in terms of reach to consumers.  Market niche fulfilled by brand and brand message.

AwarenessThe measure of how many people know a brand exists.

Axes – A visual representation of where brand opportunity lies.

BrandRepresentation of consumer perception of and feeling toward a product/service.

Brand AnthropologyThe science of understanding preferences and purchasing decisions through the analytical and scientific study of human behavior.

Brand Association – To what the brand can be linked, mental connection to and recall of brand.

Brand AuditStealing Share’s brand report card that grades the brand in several categories in order evaluate the brand’s overall efficiency.

Brand CharterAn organization’s brand constitution. The document that defines, justifies and appropriates the brand.

Brand Committee – A group of individuals who monitor the brand as it is implemented from the Brand Charter (See Brand Steward).

Brand Consistency – The ability of the brand to remain consistent throughout all brand usage.

Brand DevelopmentThe methodical evaluation, construction and continued monitoring of brand.

Brand Efficacy – Brand’s ability to produce the desired result.

Brand EquityBrand’s value over other brands.

Brand Family – A group of brands under the same umbrella of development.

Brand Hierarchy – Similar to Brand Family.  The use of brand to move customers up the value chain.  i.e. BMW moves consumers from a lower priced model to higher priced models throughout the life of the customer.

Brand Identity – The way a brand presents itself to the consumer.

Brand Loyalty – Extended brand preference and deliberate decision to repeat purchase of the brand.

Brand Management – Keeping close records of how the brand is adhering to the Brand Charter. The process by which an organization’s brand is directed like any other business unit.

Brand Meaning – How the brand is defined in the mindset of the consumer.

Brand Message – The expression of the brand meaning to the consumer.

Brand Model – The processive organization of the brand.

Brand Mythology – The story behind the brand’s derivation and meaning.

Brand Permission – What the brand can and cannot do according to the implications of the Brand Charter.

Brand Personality – The look and feel of the brand through the eyes of the consumer. What the brand wants to outwardly emit to the consumer.

Brand Planning – Processive steps toward Brand development and further brand implementation.

Brand Position – The mindset of the brand. Where the brand stands and what the brand believes in accordance to the consumer.

Brand Preference – The deliberate decision to choose one brand over another.

Brand Product Relationship – The tangible relationship between the brand and the product represented by the brand.  The brand must make sense from the perspective of the product.

Brand Promise – The brand’s guarantee to fulfill a specific need for the consumer and for itself in an ever-changing market.

Brand Recall – Simple, immediate recognition and memory of a brand.

Brand Recognition – Similar to Brand Recall.  The ability of a consumer to recognize a brand, know that it exists, and know that it is a purchasing alternative.

Brand Steward – An individual whose responsibility is to manage, monitor and adjust the brand according to the Brand Charter.

Brand Strategist An individual dedicated to the development and analysis of brand and branding practices.

Brand Strategy – The plan of execution conducted for a brand in order to increase the brand’s market share and optimize brand functioning.

Brand Style Guide – The document defining the rules of the brand usage regarding language, printed materials, design, etc.

Brand TriggerA specific characteristic or message of a brand that causes change.

Brand Visioning – The projected path of action upon which the brand needs to tread in order to steal share from the competition and increase market share.

Branded HouseA centrally focused group of brands that are clearly connected and coherent. A very large Family of Brands.

Brandface – Who the consumer believes himself to be when using or deciding to purchase a brand.

Branding – The active process of Brand Development.

Branding Firm – A group of Brand Strategists and possibly a few others who focus time and energy upon the development and analysis of brands.

Business – A group working toward a financial purpose.

Business of the Brand – The function of the brand within the mindset of the consumer.

Business of the BusinessThe function of the product/service.

Business Plan – Structuring and goal-setting process of the business.

Category – A family of businesses sharing the same purpose.

CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) – A method of data gathering using programs that enable interviewers to input data directly into the system and that is adaptive based on previous answers.  CATI systems allow for responses to be randomized so that the manner in which questions are asked to not prejudice the responses.

Competitive AuditA close analysis of a brand’s competition within the market that defines the other brands present to the consumer.

Competitive Set – The group of competitive brands within the market.

Conjoint Analysis – A statistical research method that involves the measurement of the collective effects of two or more independent variables (i.e. product attributes, e.g. color, size, ease of use, cost, etc.) on the classification of a dependent variable (“overall liking,” purchase intention, “best buy,” or any other evaluative measurement).

Connection – The bond between the consumer and the brand.

Considered Set – The consumer’s set of brand options prior to purchase/selection.

Corporate IdentityLogo, signature system, and any other visual representation of the business.

Covetous – The desire for possession and wanting of the brand.

Creative Brief – A document that assists an organization in their advertising efforts whose purpose is to keep messaging in line with the brand strategy and brand charter.

Cross Tabulation (Cross Tabs) – A research analysis method of taking multiple responses and relating them to one common factor.

Customer – The person making the purchase decision. The person for whom the brand works to represent.

Decision TreeThe rational/emotional timeline leading up to brand purchase where the customer evaluates their wants and needs.

Differentiation – What separates one brand from another within the mind of the customer.

Elasticity – The range of viability for a product/service.

Emotional Suicide – The mental self-loathing that results from the wrong decision.

Equity – The value a brand possess over other brands.

Equity Markers – A brand’s vantage points and points of differentiation.

Fighter Brand – The brand-product that is launched along side of a brand’s bestseller that “fights” in the marketplace for customers based on price. The idea of a fighter brand is for a company to capture “back” into the franchise, customers who have lost brand loyalty because of price.

Flanker Brand – The brand-product that carries the brand’s additional offering(s). The brands that fill gaps in the marketplace left by the fighter brand.  i.e. Bud Light.

Focus Group A research method involving a group of individuals giving in person responses (written or verbal) to research queries.

Frequency – How often a brand is recognized.

House of Brands – A business that has multiple brands that are not necessarily part of the same family or are independent from each other and the Parent Brand.

Incidence – The frequency of an event occurring. In research, this can be used to describe the response rate or the number of times an event or behavior occurs in a given sample or population.

Influencer – The element that causes a change in behavior.

Inside-out PerspectiveA view of a market or an organization’s internal operations from the perspective of the company/brand.

Leading Role – A brand position in which a single product represents the entire brand.

Logo The Corporate Identity element of the brand that visually identifies the product/service for the consumer (visual reflection of the brand).

Mark – The symbol, presented graphically, of the brand.

Market Matrix – The visually plotted space on a set of axes that represents the space for brand opportunity within the market space.

Market Place – The generalized intangible area where market trends occur.

Market Share – The overall amount of the market from which a brand benefits and owns

Market Space – The area in which any given brand is bought and sold.

Marketing – Tangible execution of brand messaging

Marketing Plan – The steps marketing follows in order to convey a message.

Mean – A numerical measurement of the average result. (addition of all values divided by the amount of values taken)

Median – The middle value of results. (The middle value in the sequence of values taken)

Mind Map – An image, centered around a key concept, with related words and concepts that represent semantic or other connections linked with the key concept using lines and/or arrows.

Monitoring Brand Equity – The process of ensuring and measuring brand advantages allowing a brand to make adjustments to meet the expectations of an ever-changing market.

Naming Strategy – The process in which the name of a brand emerges as the phonetic/semantic representation of the brand.

Niche Market – Not mass marketed. Marketed to a smaller group of consumers who share a specific need/desire that is not a universal consumer expectation.

One-on-One Survey (Internal Interviews) – A research method to assist in the evaluation of the present status of the brand and business as viewed from within the organization by interviewing employees.

Opportunity – The unoccupied space where a brand has potential to increase market share.

Optimization – When the brand is fulfilling all of its promises, gaining market share and maintaining equity to the best of its ability.

Outside-in Perspective – A view of a market or an organization’s brand/business from the point of view of the customer or target audience.

Parent Brand – The original or most widely recognized brand in a family of brands.

Personal Identity – The identity customers feel is private to them and their experience.

Playing Field – Another way of expressing the Market Space in which the brand exists.

Position – A set and deliberate stance the brand takes in order to differentiate and reach the customer.

Position Statements – Resulting statements taken from the 3Ps chart that position the brand according to consumer precepts (beliefs).

Positioned Against – When a brand is constructed to directly contrast another brand in the considered set.

Precept – A belief that strongly influences all decisions consumers make.

Preceptive Behavior Model Stealing Share’s unique brand discovery process of uncovering customer and target market precepts.

Price Elasticity – A comparative price study that shows the price ranges consumers are willing to pay for a product/service and their subsequent effects on demand.

Process – In decision making, this is a category or product description that describes the product’s attributes. For example, a process describing “soap powder” might be “it is inexpensive” or “it smells good.”

Processive – Describing something that is characteristic of the category or engaging in a behavior for the sake of that behavior that ultimately adds little or nothing.

Projectable – Research data that can reasonably be predictable given a confidence level and margin of error.

Prospects – Potential customers and markets.

Purpose – In decision making, this is the reasoning behind Processes. Purposes are needs and wants that are satisfied by processes.

Quadrant – A block of space between the X and Y axes.

Qualitative – Non-numerical values/codes resulting from research. Qualitative data is usually not statistically predictive of a population and is usually used as the foundation for quantitative research.

Quantitative – Numerical values resulting from research. Quantitative data is usually statistically predictive of a given population as long a sound research methodology was used in gathering the data.

Raw Data – Uncleaned/unmanipulated data from research studies.

RDD (random digit dialing) – The use of computers to randomly dial phone numbers in order to get a random sample.  Used primarily in research.

Reach – The ability of the brand to influence a certain radius of customers.

Rebranding The process of taking an existing brand and reworking the brand into something different and better than before.

Relevance – The amount of connection and sense the brand possesses with regard to something.

ResearchThe process of gathering data through testing of relevant questions in a given market whose purpose is to produce actionable results for the brand.

Research Design – A systematic plan to gather data.  The research design looks at what data to gather, from whom, how and when to collect, and how the data will be analyzed.  This is the “roadmap” to research.

Research Strategy – The “thinking” behind conducting research.  Developing the rationale for research.  Understanding what questions to ask and how they impact the purpose  and objectives of the research.

Return on Investment (ROI) – The financial return/sales you receive directly from your investment in brand development.

Ruling Precept – The overarching precept that controls the other precepts. The dominant belief that influences the purchase decision.

Sample Size (n) – The number of participants from a population to be included in a research study.

Segmentation – Dividing the market by a certain characteristic (Race, Geography, Sex…etc)

Signals Consistency – The uniformity of all the messages conveyed that speak about a given brand.  This includes: logo, themelines, taglines, signage, signature systems, press releases, advertising and marketing, and internal communications.

Signature System – Letterhead, envelopes, fax sheets, memos…etc. The internal documentation of your brand.

Single Minded Proposition – The single most important thing you can say about the brand that causes a consumer to change their perception of that brand and that necessitates a change in consumer purchasing decisions.

Sonic Branding The use of sound to convey a brand message.  i.e. Intel’s chime

Statistically Significant – A clear difference in numerical results that indicates a significant diversion.

Strategy – The plan that enables a brand to advance in the market.

Stratification – Statistical tool based on showing data so that individual characteristics can be observed.  The process of grouping data according to common characteristics so that these differences which might affect the outcome of the research can be taken into account.

Supporting Role – Similar to “Flanker Brand.”  A product in a given brand whose purpose it to support the main or “fighter” brand.

Switching Behaviors – Consumer behaviors for which research tests to determine how likely consumers are to switch brands. Testing Brand Loyalty.

Table Stakes – Basic category benefits that do not differentiate or even indicate brand presence.

Tactics – Individual processes used to execute the brand strategy.

Tagline – A simple, poignant phrase used to set off a logo/ad.

Target Audience – The group of consumers the brand wishes to influence or the consumers who already use brands within the considered set.

Target Market – A market defined by a certain characteristic.

Themeline –  A simple, poignant phrase used to reflect brand meaning.

Top of Mind Awareness – The first brand recalled unaided by the customer.

Typography – The font and visual appearance of lettering.

Web Strategy – The plan of effectively exhibiting the brand via the web through search engine optimization (SEO), messaging, design, and content management.