A Brands Lecture exploring the consumer, social and economic contribution of brands and how Britain ranks with the rest of the world.
Posh Spice and Persil
A Brands Lecture on the relationship between brands and individuals, describing how brands are created by an array of diverse influences.
A must for all those interested in the world of brands: the Museum in Notting Hill is a unique collection of brands from the 1890s through to the present day.
Click here for details
What is a brand?To some, a brand may just be a name, logo or corporate identity. To others it may be a trade mark or “trust mark” – a guarantee of consistent quality. To a brand-focused company it will be its most valuable and yet intangible business asset.
A brand is perhaps best explained by adopting the perspective of the individual (whether shopper or user) rather than that of the company. A brand is the sum of that individual's knowledge and understanding of a product, service or company, and provides the means for exercising choice and preference. Over time, a product or service may develop in an individual's mind to become familiar, recognisable, reassuring, unique and trust inspiring - in other words, a strong brand.
Strong brands tend to grow as a result of companies taking continuous, careful note of what people want. Great emphasis is placed on consistency but also on research and development in order to meet individuals' requirements better while staying one step ahead of competitors. Continuous innovation is often therefore an integral part of successful brand-building.
"Branding" is the means whereby companies strive to create and build strong brands. Over 1 million people are employed and companies invest some £33 billion per year in the creation and building of brands in the UK. This equates to an investment in the economy of some £16 billion per year, according to Westminster Business School. Great British brands such as Rolls Royce, Dyson and Johnnie Walker drive the UK's export performance while the desire to build strong brands makes companies accountable, prompting socially beneficial and responsible practices.
The definition of a brand
There is no single, universally accepted definition of a brand. The Westminster Business School, when studying the contribution of brands to the UK economy, defined it as:
"... a reputational asset which has been developed over time so as to embrace a set of values and attributes, resulting in a powerfully held set of beliefs by the consumer and a range of other stakeholders."
A person’s trust in a product or service has to be earned, by meeting a need consistently and better than alternatives. Such trust inspires loyalty, together forming "a reputational asset" for companies.
For a fuller understanding of brands, see the Brands Lecture series and, in particular, Posh Spice and Persil.