What is a brand?

Lesson Outcome

By the end of this lesson you'll have got a clear understanding of what a brand is and what the difference is between physical branding and perceived branding

Generally, people consider a name, logo, colour, and even a sound to be a brand.
While they’re partially correct as these do form elements of a brand, they are just scratching the surface. 


A brand is the way a product, company, or individual is perceived by those who experience it.
A brand is created by a combination of properties that gives it an identity and makes it distinct from others. Therefore, even firms which do not actively manage their brand still have a brand regardless.

Online Exercise

Use the questions and prompts in this online activity below to gain some insights into how you are influenced or affected by brands that you are familiar with.

This exercise is just to help your thoughts.  The answers aren't scored and they won't be saved.


Most big brands will have spent a considerable amount of time, effort, energy and money to build and grow their brand.

Ultimately the way the brand is perceived is heavily influenced by these activities but cannot be controlled as the brand is individually perceived and experienced by each individual.

Thinking about a real world example

Consider a business that you enjoy dealing with.  It could be a business in your professional life or your personal life.  A provider of goods or services.

Now consider why you enjoy dealing with them.

Answer the following questions and keep a note of these

  • How do their people interact with you?
  • How do they respond when you appeal to them for help or assistance with the product/service?
  • How reliable are their goods and services?
  • Do they deliver their goods or services in a predictable, reliable and pleasant way?

Based on these considerations what do you think it would be like to work for them?

Would you recommend them to others as great employer?

Without you necessarily being aware of it, you have a 'feeling' about this business and what it might be like working for them, even though you've never worked for them yourself.

This is the employer brand.

So you see, it doesn't have to be big fancy logos and branded uniform (although this does create part of the impression) - it's what they deliver on and how well they do that that creates the employer brand.

Workbook insight

Considering the insights that have come to you during this lesson about what brand really means - how does this relate to you and your firm and what changes/actions could you make to improve.
Record this in your workbook on page 3 titled 'What is a brand - Insights and Reflections'

During This Lesson...

You've been thinking about what brand actually means and how a firm's behaviour as well as it's visual branding impacts the perceived brand.

next steps...

When you are ready, move on to the next lesson using the button below.

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