Defining “Brand”

Brand is a difficult thing to get my head around sometimes. It seems like every marketing firm has their own take on it – sometimes it’s lifted from a book, sometimes it’s formulated entirely to play to their own strengths and sometimes it’s constructed around a central personality at the company.

None of these work for me – they all seem to start from the wrong place.

To my thinking brand first and foremost about your perception and relationship with the company and product. That said, I could never quite crystallize all of my various thoughts on the matter. So I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that Seth Godin’s latest post spelled it out quite nicely:

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer. 

Our team held a day long strategy session recently and we’re taking a long, hard look at our own brand in the coming days and weeks.


Brand isn’t something that we invested a lot of energy on in our infancy but, like everyone, we’re maturing day by day. In that maturation we’ve developed key characteristics that set our team apart. How do we make that part of our (forgive me for using this term) value proposition?


But perhaps the toughest part of this whole exercise will be – how do we make it so that we (a company founded by bunch of humble geeks) can present our brand with pride and without feeling like we’re somehow bragging?


This may be easy or it may be difficult but I can’t wait to take the next steps with these guys.