Toward a definition of brand we all can live with.


Someone asked me today, "Isn't a brand a mark of quality?" 

Hearing that, I realized (once again) the importance of defining our terminology - preferably before we start talking to one another.

So here is a suggested common definition of brand. With the idea that newer thinking builds upon the old.

"A brand is a co-created reality that is constantly being negotiated in the collective consciousness."

What this means is that the brand is offered up by its creator and responded to in the civic commons - the social space, online and off.

All of these definitions or signifiers are aspects of brand - they comprise a portion of its reality:

1. Quality mark 
2. Authenticity mark
3. Visual mark
4. Reputation mark
5. Symbolic mark
6. Religious mark
7. Social responsibility mark
8. Professional mark
9. Collaboration mark
10. Vision mark

What you as the brand builder want to do is create the conversation (start the fire), establish the collaboration, then step back, participate and hopefully influence.

An ant colony is a good way of thinking of it. Collective intelligence, super-organized, each participating, each motivated to achieve the common goal of  self-sustenance.

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About

Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.