By Andrew Dalglish - 17th October 2016
Jargon abounds in the discipline of branding, and the plethora of terms in use coupled with the sometimes nuanced differences between them can have undesirable side effects. Sometimes the jargon undermines the user, making them seem pretentious or detached from the hard-nosed world of commerce. And other times conversations will become increasingly confused as terms are used interchangeably or different meanings attached to the same words by different people.
So in the interests of clarity, let’s take a look at some of key branding terminology and what it really means.
Three key phrases concern how the brand is recognised:
Much of the remaining terminology relates to what the brand stands for – its meaning. The central phrase here is a brand’s ‘positioning’ which is usually expressed in a ‘brand positioning statement’. This short, simple statement defines the space that you want your brand occupy in the target market’s mind relative to other brands – when they think of you, what core associations (‘brand attributes’) do you want to be triggered and how will these set you apart from competitors?
When discussing or creating a brand positioning statement you may come across some further terminology, including:
Here’s the most important phrase of all though. All of the above, if well executed, creates ‘brand equity’ – the commercial benefits of having a strong brand such as increased sales, loyalty and the ability to charge a premium. Now that’s the kind of language that even the most ardent brand cynics will understand.
Read more about our approach to business-to-business (B2B) branding research.
Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.