The language of brand building

Branding Glossary

Branding Glossary

The Dictionary of Brand. Building great brands takes incredible skill, but it’s often misunderstood. Here is a branding glossary of terms you should know.


Paid communications aimed at persuading an audience to buy a product, use a service, change a behavior, or adopt a viewpoint.

Affiliate Marketing

A type of marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for bringing customers to it.

Agile Creativity

A tool developed by Google to help marketing teams work faster and more collaboratively.


A standardized model of a personality or behavior, often used in marketing, storytelling, psychology, and philosophy. Often used for Brand Archetypes.

Attitude Study

A survey of opinions about a brand, often used as a benchmark before and after making changes to the brand.


The group of people for which a product, service, message, or experience is designed.


The quality of being genuine, considered a powerful brand attribute


A digital alter ego; in branding, an icon designed to operate freely in a variety of
media. Often social media.

Awareness Study

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


A phrase made familiar by repeated use.


Chief Brand Officer, responsible for integrating the work of the brand community.

Challenger Brand

A product, service, or company that competes with one or more stronger competitors in its category.

Charismatic Brand

A brand that inspires a high degree of customer loyalty; also known as a lifestyle
brand or passion brand.


The process by which customers come to see products, services, or companies as
interchangeable, resulting in the erosion of profit margins; a failure of branding.

Communication Design

A discipline that combines visual design and verbal design to produce identity elements, websites, advertisements, publications, and other vehicles for messaging and content.

Core Purpose

The reason a company exists beyond making a profit; a key component of a core ideology.

Core Values

An enduring set of principles that defines the ethics of a company; a key component of a core ideology.

Creative Brief

A document that outlines the parameters of a design project, such as its context, goals, processes, and budgetary constraints.

Bandwagon Effect

In behavioral psychology, the observation that the more people do or believe something, the more others will be inclined to do or believe the same thing.

Banner Ad

On the web, a small, rectangular ad designed to attract users to a website.

Bottom-up Marketing

Customer-driven marketing, as opposed to top-down or management-driven marketing.

Bounce Rate

In web analytics, the percentage of users who quickly leave a particular page.


A technique for generating, exploring, and evaluating ideas as a group

Unique design, symbol, words formed as an identity that identifies a product or service and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this identity becomes a perception of a product, service, experience, or organization; a commercial reputation. The brand is associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind.
Brand Advocate
Anyone who promotes a brand through interactions with customers, prospects,
partners, or the media.
Branding Agency
A strategic firm that provides or manages a variety of brand-building services across a range of touchpoints
Brand Alignment
The practice of closely linking customer experience and brand strategy.
Brand Architect

A person experienced in building brands as strategic systems.

Brand Architecture

A hierarchy of related brands or brand names, often beginning with a master brand and describing its relationship to sub-brands and co-brands.

Brand Asset

Any aspect of a brand that has strategic value, including brand associations, brand attributes, brand awareness or brand loyalty.

Brand Attribute

A distinctive feature of a product, service or company brand.

Brand Audit

A formal assessment of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses across its touchpoints.

Brand Awareness

A measurement of how well a product, service, or company is recognized by its

Brand Book

A publication or online resource that outlines the strategy, key messages, and style guidelines for a brand.

Brand Campaign

A coordinated effort to increase brand awareness, brand equity or brand loyalty.

Brand Compass

A shared understanding of a company’s purpose, value proposition, personality, and messaging that allows brand builders to collaborate with autonomy.

Brand Ecosystem

The network of people who contribute to building a brand, including internal
departments, external firms, industry partners, customers, users, and the media.

Brand Equity

The accumulated value of a company’s brand assets, both financially and strategically; the overall strength of a brand.

Brand Experience

All the interactions people have with a product, service, or organization.

Brand Family

A series of related brands owned by the same company

Brand Gap

A disconnect between business strategy and brand experience

Brand Identity

The outward expression of a brand, including its trademark, name, communications, and visual appearance.


Any effort or program designed to increase value or avoid commoditization by building a differentiated brand.

Brand Loyalty

The strength of preference for a brand compared to competing brands, sometimes measured in repeat purchases

Brand Manual

A document that articulates the parameters of a brand for members of the brand
community; a standardized set of brand-building tools.

Brand Name

The verbal or written component of a brand icon; the name of a product, service, or organization.

Brand Personality

The character of a brand as defined in anthropomorphic terms

Brand Police

A manager or team responsible for strict compliance with the guidelines in a brand manual

Brand Promise

A stated or implied guarantee that creates customer expectations and employee

Brand Recall

A measurement of how strongly a brand name is connected with a category in the
minds of an audience.

Brand Recognition

A measurement of how familiar a brand name is to an audience.

Brand Steward

A person responsible for protecting and developing a brand

Brand Strategy

A plan for the systematic development of a brand in alignment with a business