Branding Lexicon

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Avatar

A brand icon designed to move, morph, or otherwise operate freely across various media.

Awareness Study

A survey that measures an audience’s familiarity with a brand, often divided into “prompted” and “spontaneous” awareness.

BHAG

A “big, hairy, audacious goal” designed to focus an organization.

Brand

A person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization; the art and science of brand building.

Corporate Identity

The brand identity of a company, consisting of its visual identifiers such as the name, trademark, typography, and colors; a company’s trade dress.

Creative Brief

A document that sets parameters for a brand-building project, including context, goals, processes, and budgetary constraints.

Differentiation

The process of establishing a unique market position to increase profit margins and avoid commoditization; the result of positioning.

Envisioned Future

A 10- to 30-year BHAG with a vivid description of what it will be like to reach the goal.

First Mover

A company or brand that leads a new category or brand segment.

Guerilla Marketing

A marketing program that uses non-traditional channels to sell or advertise products or services.

Icon

The visual symbol of a brand, usually based on a differentiated market position; a trademark.

Logo

An abbreviation of logotype, now applied broadly (if incorrectly) to all trademarks.

Logotype

A distinctive typeface or lettering style used to represent a brand name; a wordmark.

Mission Statement

A concise statement of how a company or organizations plan to implement the Vision Statement or aspirations of an organization.

Positioning

The process of differentiating a product, service, or company in a customer’s mind to obtain a strategic competitive advantage; the first step in building a brand.

Qualitative Research

Research designed to provide insight, such as one-on-one interviews and focus groups.

Quantitative Research

Research designed to provide measurements, such as polling and large-scale studies.

SWOT

A conceptual tool that analyzes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Signature

The defined visual relationship between a logotype and a symbol.

Subbrand

A secondary brand that builds on the associations of a master brand.

Symbol

A sign or trademark designed to represent a brand.

Tagline

A sentence, phrase, or word used to summarize a market position, such as mini’s “let’s motor” and taco bell’s “think outside the bun”.

Touchpoint

Any place where people come in contact with a brand, including product use, packaging, advertising, editorial, movies, store environments, etc.

Trademark

A name and/or symbol that indicates a source of goods or services and prevents confusion in the marketplace; a legally protectable form of intellectual property.

Value Proposition

A set of benefits, including functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits

Values

An enduring set of principles that defines the ethics of a company; part of its core ideology.

Vision Statement

The story a leader tells about where the organization is going; the aspirations of a company that drives future growth.

Vivid Description

A vibrant, clear, and engaging vision of what it would be like to achieve a BHAG.

Voice

The unique personality of a company as expressed by its verbal and written communications; the verbal dimension of a brand personality.

Wordmark

The brand name as represented by a distinctive typeface or lettering style; a logotype.

Zag

A disruptive innovation that yields a competitive advantage; the differentiating idea that drives a charismatic brand.