What is a Brand? Part 8
Posted by Giles Lury on October 28, 2010
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I sometimes call this week’s definition the Titanic definition for obvious reasons. It is also the definition that is most easily and most often accompanied by a picture.
The definition is that a brand is an iceberg.
It builds on or rather challenges the Philip Kotler definition discussed previously: “A name, term, symbol or design, or a combination of them which is intended to signify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”.
The Titanic definition would claim that Kotler’s definition tells only part of the story. Kotler’s definition focuses on the visible elements of the brand – the name and identity – but misses the importance of the brand’s meaning, values and internal culture.
As branding has spread from fast moving consumer goods to services and corporate brands, there has been increasing recognition that branding isn’t just about the public face of an organisation but is also an expression of an organisation’s internal beliefs, cultures and behaviour.
In other words the outward facing name and identity (and advertising) is the visible tip of the iceberg but it should be the expression of the invisible but vitally important elements of the brand.