What is a Brand? 5 vital branding questions…

Seems like a simple question and yet one gets as many answers as there are respondents.  The most frequent answer begins with a list of examples…  Something like… “Well, a Brand is… you know, Hellmann’s, or Axe or Planters Peanuts or  The Resource Team or Ford Motor Company or American Express or…” and so it goes.  Some respondents simply say that a “brand is an iconic product” but that leaves out places and  services.  It also leaves out celebrities and, yes… politicians as well.  Yet, all of those things are brands.  So let me ask that simple question again:

What is a Brand?

The answer, especially if you’re a business owner or a sales or marketing professional or a leader, may well mean the difference between success and failure.  So let me cut to the chase…

A Brand, be it any of the examples above — or Walmart or Barack Obama or Disney World or the Peoples Republic of China for that matter, is a promise.  It is a promise of value, opportunity, pleasure, support, hope, truth, and so many other things that, in the final analysis, should enhance the life of its consumers in some meaningful way.

So now for some even more important questions…

1.  What does your Brand promise?

2. Is it crystal clear to your prospective consumers?

3. Do they value and appreciate the promise?

4. Is it accessible, affordable, useful, and does it truly enhance the consumer’s life?

And now, the most important question of all:

5. Are you keeping your brand’s promise?

If you you weren’t 100% certain about questions 1 through 4 or if you hesitated even for a split second on question 5, it’s time to reassess your Brand, renew your brand and possibly even start all over from scratch.

As obvious as this may seem, asking yourself these questions every day, especially before you make important branding decisions, will help to ensure clarity of mission and enable you to keep your promise.  Because when it comes to a Brand – any Brand – your promise is everything.

About the Author:


Joe Sireno spent 25 years in CPG Sales and Marketing at Nabisco and went on to create his own Meeting Planning and Production business.  He currently consults and heads up corporate communications,  events planning and meeting and webcast production for The Resource Team and its clients.

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