What is a brand?

"Brand” is a word with no brand. Marketers seem to flock to the idea that a swoosh or a logo or a bleed-to-the-edge will create an identity, and they call it a brand. But no one seems to agree on exactly what a brand is. Have you seen the new logo for the 2012 Olympics? In an article on sportinglife.com, the new logo was called a logo, an emblem, and a brand. Yeesh. And it’s ugly too. From the article: “The dramatic new logo for the 2012 Olympics was unveiled… The bold jagged emblem based on the date 2012… Organisers hope the brand will be immediately recognisable worldwide….” Well, which is it? A logo, an emblem, or a brand? And to add to the confusion, they claim it will change color and shape. What’s a brand? My friend David says, “Branding, as an advertising and marketing term, has as its origins the visual mark burned into a cow's butt.” Indeed. --- UPDATE: On the day following the announcement, organisers say nearly 45,000 people have so far signed a petition demanding London's 2012 Olympics logo be scrapped. The committee has rebuffed criticism that the logo, which cost 400,000 pounds (US$800,000) to design, is "puerile" and "hideous," saying it is meant to be "edgy" and that people will get used to it. Sounds like the agency is thinking "everybody is stupid except us."
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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