Are You Misusing the Word Brand?

Are You Misusing the Word Brand?

Are You Misusing the Word Brand?

Let’s take back this word, brand, so that it is useful for you as a leader.

Brand is what you stand for in the mind of your audience. It is the articulation of why your business deserves to exist to the people who you serve.

Some people consider brand to be the domain of marketing.

I contend that EVERYTHING you do that touches the customer is a branding activity. Every decision your business makes that affects the customer is an opportunity to reinforce that meaning that you stand for.

Here are some examples of the ways that you brand your business.

  • The name of your business
  • The product that you offer for your business
  • Way that you answer the phone
  • Your culture
  • Your email signature
  • Your return policy
  • Your office design
  • Your retail location, if you have one, and what that feels like to move through.

All of these are ways that you either are strengthening or weakening what you mean to your customer. If they are done with your brand strategy as your North Star, then it’s likely that you are reinforcing that meaning you want to be standing for. And when you do that, you create more customer value, and therefore more business value.

Do you consider brand to be the domain of marketing? Or are you using brand as a decision-making filter for every thing that you do?

Brand is the largest source of value creation that your business has. So, don’t delegate it. Own it. Use it. 


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  • John Bolton

    Thanks for the clarification

  • Andy Perez

    Excellent article, thanks Lindsay !

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Lindsay Pedersen

Brand Strategy Expert

Lindsay is a Brand Strategist and Founder of Ironclad Brand Strategy, which builds brands using an exacting and analytic method. Her background as a P&L owner at Clorox fostered a deep appreciation for the executive charge: to create sustainable value. Ironclad advises companies from burgeoning startups to national corporations, including Zulily, IMDb, T-Mobile and Starbucks. Lindsay holds an MBA in Business from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.



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