By Jun Marfori
I think “brand” is one of those words that is widely used but unevenly understood. What does “brand” mean, and how has the word’s application changed over time?
The first definition of “brand” is the name given to a product or service from a specific source. Used in this sense, “brand” is similar to the current meaning of the word “trademark.”
Later, marketers began to grasp there was more to the perception of distinctive products and services than their names—something David Ogilvy described as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” That “the brand” would equate to a specific perception in customers’ minds concerning the qualities and attributes of “the brand” (or the product or service).
Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). …..your brand exists only in someone’s mind. ~ From Jerry McLaughlin, FORBES magazine contributor
So as we communicate, encounter, interact, invest time with individuals and organizations, regardless of milieu, sphere of influence, context, culture, relationship and purpose – ideally we would ask – how would we want to be remembered by? What impact would we create? What transformation would result in the other? Would they be more empowered, motivated, focused, committed, and seek a change for the better? Will they desire to enhance their skills or impact or their results, or pursue excellence?
In a world that is constantly evolving, where traditions and customs and age-old practices are often challenged, or become extinct, as breakthrough tools and processes are discovered and optimized to drive dramatic changes, some things ideally will be memorialized – our personal value, our legacy, our impact, our “brand.” And the measure will be no less visible than in the “others” whom you had encountered and influenced, whose lives you have touched, the organizations you had connected with. This, at the end of the day, will either immortalize you, or consign you to oblivion.