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Brand Glossary.

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Audience The key group of people most likely to use the brand. Core audience. Key audience.

Benefit An advantage derived from using a brand. The benefits judged most important by the audience and the brand’s promoters form the core of the brand.

Bottom-up marketing Customer driven as opposed to company-driven marketing. Word of mouth (WOM).

Brand study A qualitative study used to determine the essential attributes and core value of an organization’s brand.

BHAG A big, hairy, audacious goal.

BMAP Benefit Mapping And Priority. This is the acronym that of the RobinsonBrandBuilding brand study.

Brand The perception in the mind of a person of an organization and its products or services.

Brand agency A company that strategically manages brand building across a wide range of communications channels.

Brand alignment The practice of delivering all brand encounters aligned with the brand’s core value.

Brand ambassador Anyone who promotes the value of the brand to its users. Ideally this would include every employee in the company. See brand alignment.

Brand asset Any aspect of the brand that has value: messages; design; recognition; awareness; loyalty, etc.

Brand attribute A distinct feature of a brand usually described by an adjective.

Brand audit A formal analysis of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses across all encounters. See brand study.

Brand designers People who help build a brand: graphic designers; web designers; strategists; researchers; web developers; PR specialists; copywriters; etc.

Brand earnings The share of revenue that can be attributed to the brand.

Brand equity The value of the brand as an item on the balance sheet and/or its market position value.

Brand essence The brand distilled to its simplest promise. See elevator speech.

Brand experience A brand encounter and/or the perception of all brand encounters.

Brand gap The space between the brand’s objectives and a customer’s actual experience.

Brand identity Name; trademarks; logos; communications; visual appearance. The outward expression of a brand.

Brand image The mental picture of an organization, and/or its products and services.

Branding The process of brand building.

Branding blueprint After the BMAP study, the blueprint provides a graphic representation of exactly what needs to be done to create, promote and build the brand based on the information gained from the BMAP.

Brand integration The discipline to keep brand messaging consistent across all communication channels.

Brand loyalty The tendency to use the brand over and over.

Brand personality The character of a brand usual expressed as a noun. “Friend” “Listener”

Brand story An articulate narrative that expresses the meaning of the brand.

Brand strategy A plan to develop a brand to meet business objectives.

Category The market arena in which the brand competes. Eg. Brands in the cola category; cars in the sporty category; brands in the ketchup category.

Charismatic brand One that inpires a high degree of loyalty. Aka lifestyle brand; passion brand. Eg. Macs; Starbucks; BMWs.

Clutter The white noise of the market place composed of a disorderly outpouring of messages.

Cognitive dissonance holding a belief plainly at odds with the evidence, usually because the belief has been held and cherished for a long time. Psychiatrists sometimes call this "denial."

Commoditization The phenomenon where customers come to see products, services, or companies as interchangeable. The ensuing market becomes a price-lowering battle to the bottom. The opposite of branding.

Conceptual clutter Competing messages that undermine clarity.

Core value The operating principal that defines the organization and is the base of the brand triangle created by the RobinsonBrandBuilding BMAP study.

Corporate identity The brand identity of a company. It is an amalgamation in the mind of clients of every brand encounter. These might include website, customer service, directions for use, advertisement, and media stories.

Creative brief A document that sets parameters for a brand-building project, including context, goals, processes, and resource availability.

Customer expectations The anticipated benefits of a brand. See Brand promise.

Descriptor A term used with a brand name to describe the category in which the brand competes. “Fluoride toothpaste.” “Estate planners.” “Online brokers.”

Differentiation The process of establishing a unique market position that can increase profit margins and avoid commoditization. The result of positioning.

Earcon An auditory icon like UAL’s Rhapsody in Blue. Aural icon.

Elevator pitch An easy-to-understand version of a brand’s purpose and market positioning short enough to convey in a brief elevator ride.

Evangelist A strong brand advocate, best unpaid.

Feature Any element of a product, service or experience designed to deliver a benefit.

Followship The art of building on collaborator’s ideas. The opposite of the NIH syndrome.

Guerilla marketing A marketing program that uses non-traditional channels to promote.

Hawthorne effect The tendency for research subjects to behave uncharacteristically.

Icon Logo. Trademark.

Identity package The graphic representation of a brand that appears on everything from stationery to billboards.

Living the brand When everyone in the organization and its brand consultants are completely on board with the brand and behaving accordingly.

Look and feel The sensory experience of a product or a communication.

Marketing The process of developing, promoting, selling and distributing a product or service.

Market penetration or share The share of sales of a product or service compared to others in the category.

Market position The ranking of a product or service within its category.

Meme An idea that spreads like a virus from one person to the next.

Message architecture A formal relationship and plan among brand communications.

Mission statement A concise statement that expresses the purpose and goals of an organization.

Name brand A widely recognized product, service, or organization.

NIH The tendency to reject any idea “Not Invented Here.”

Observer effect The tendency for the presence of an observer to cause changes in what is being observed.

Opinion leader A person whose opinion or personality exerts and influence over other members of a group; also called an opinion maker.

Parallel execution The process by which teams work simultaneously rather than sequentially.

Parallel thinking A brainstorming technique in which everyone thinks in the same directions at the same time, generating a range of usable and unusable ideas. “Yes and…” It is the opposite of the Socratic method in which one person succeeds by proving another wrong.

Perception Information perceived through the senses. And the mind’s construct of any aspect of reality.

Permanent media Environmental brand messages that last for years, such as architecture or signage.

Permission marketing The practice of promoting goods or services with anticipated personal and relevant messages that the prospect permits receiving.

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.

Power law In brand building, the tendency of success to attract more success.

Primacy effect The observation that the first impressions tend to be stronger than later impressions, except for the last impression.

Product placement A form of paid advertising in which products and trademarks are inserted into non-advertising media such as movies, television programs, music and public environments.

Pure play A company with a single line of business; a highly focused brand.

Qualitative research Research designed to provide insight using one-on-one interviews like the RBB BMAP brand study.

Quantitative research Research designed to provide measurement, such as polling.

Reach The number of people exposed to a brand message.

Recency effect The observation that the last impression tends to be stronger than earlier impressions, including first impressions.

Reputation The shared opinion of a product, service or organization among all the members of its audience.

Segmentation The process of dividing a market into subcategories of people who share similar values and goals.

Slogan A catch phrase, tagline, or rally cry.

Sock puppet A fake advocate, usually cloaked behind a fake user name on the Internet, who is pretending to espouse a real cause when in fact he (or she) is being paid to promote a product. See astro turfing.

Social network A network of people that can be leveraged to spread ideas or messages using viral marketing techniques.

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

Tagline A sentence, phrase or word used to summarize a market position. “Just do it.” “Think outside the bun.”

Target market A group of customers that an organization has decided to serve.

Touchpoint Any place where people come in contact with a brand, including product use, packaging, advertising, editorials, movies, store environments, company employees, and conversation.

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

Tribal brand A brand with a cult-life following: Harley-Davidson; Macs.

USP Unique selling proposition of a product or service.

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

Vicious circle In brand strategy, a death spiral that leads from a lack of differentiation to lower prices, to smaller profit margins, to fewer available resources, to less innovation, to even less differentiation, and finally to commoditization.

Viral marketing A technique by which social networks are used to spread ideas or messages, through the uses of blogs, forums, emails, word of mouth and memes.

Virtuous circle The opposite of s vicious circle; a growth spiral that leads from differentiation, to higher prices, to larger profit margins, to more available resources, to more innovation, to further differentiation, and then to sustainable competitive advantage.

Vision The aspirations of a company that drive future growth.

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

Word-of-mouth advertising People voluntarily promote a brand, resulting in a very high level of authenticity.

Wordmark A brand name 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.