Branding jargon in plain English

What does brand mean?
One of the biggest misconceptions in our industry is the use of the word brand. Firstly, a brand is NOT a company’s logo. A brand is a company’s essence. It’s everything they are, from the people all the way through to the services they offer.

What is brand purpose?
Brand purpose is the unique benefit your business brings to the world. It’s a North Star for your company, your people and your brand; it’s how you make your business stronger by making the world better. It’s a powerful statement that gives your brand meaning.

Example: Nintendo ‘Put smiles on the faces of everyone we touch’

What is brand proposition?
The all powerful brand proposition, sometimes considered the most important part of any brand. This isn’t a strapline or tagline, your proposition helps you live, breathe, learn and discover your company. It’s your promise to every single client, partner and colleague.

Example: Spotify ‘Soundtrack your life’

What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning describes how your brand is different from its competitors and where, or how, it sits in a particular industry. Sounds complicated but it’s really not. It’s simply where your company is placed in the market.

Example: Volvo ‘For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety’

Tagline or Strapline?
The great debate, the unanswered question of the century. Do you have a tagline or strapline? Well they are actually two completely different assets for your company. What’s the difference? Well, a tagline is a short, powerful phrase that is associated with your company. It represents the feeling you want people to have when they engage with your company. It is normally part of your company identity and attached to the logo. It stays with you all the time and will only change if you refine the whole company. If your brand is successful the tagline becomes instantly recognisable.

A strapline is slightly different, it’s also a short phrase that brings your company to mind but hasn’t got the lasting implications of a tagline. It’s almost like a battle cry for the battle you are fighting right now. It can be used for a particular campaign or product.

Example tagline – Disneyland ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’

Example strapline – Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration ‘Happiest Homecoming On Earth’

What is a Brand Vision?
A vision should be an aspirational goal for your brand. Something that you strive for but may never achieve. A vision is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim for in the future. Your journey might take you in lots of different directions but you will always be working towards reaching your vision.

Example: WWF ‘We seek to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth…’

What is a Brand Mission?
A brand mission is what everyone in the company should live by. It’s what gets them up in the morning and inspires them to be great at what they do.

Example: Coca-Cola ‘Our mission is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.’

Values
Your values are what drives your company internally. They are guidance for your business decisions and for each employee to follow. Values should be based on your company’s beliefs. A good set of values are easy to understand and relatable for each employee. They should be flexible and adaptable to any situation, not robotic or generic.

Example: ASOS
Customer Obsessed
Restlessly Innovative
Collaborative & Respectful
Passionate

Hope this helps clear a few things up and if there's anything you think we should have included then get in touch