Branding Dictionary

If you’re going to manage your branding effectively, you have to learn the basic terminologies that brand managers and marketers use. This will help you break your brand down into components and focus on different aspects of your brand as needed.





A paid announcement that promotes a brand, product, or service. A few articles on advertisement: hereherehereherehere, and here.

Affiliate Marketing

A marketing strategy where a business pays someone to market their product or service as an independent marketer. This is similar to brand ambassador marketing.

Anchoring Strategy

A pricing strategy where your audience overvalues the first piece of information you provide against subsequent information. This is used effectively in pricing products or services or when pitching an offer. For example, if you were to say that typically your product costs $1,000 but due to one reason or another, today the price is only $750, the audience will feel like they are getting a good deal – even though, $750 may still be too high for that product.

This strategy should be used cautiously and with ethical intent in mind. These days a lot of online gurus and digital education product sellers use completely ludicrous price anchors to get sales. Don’t do that! Here is some advice on perfect pricing.

Aspirational Brands

Aspirational brands are those that are desirable by a large portion of the target market but are unaffordable to that portion of buyers. This strategy is used to create desirability and emotional cult-like status for a brand. An alternate definition used by some people states these brands are those that people embrace because of the aspirational nature of the brand and what it stands for.

Audio Branding

Having an audio jingle or sound bite that is communicated every time your brand mark is shown in live media is called audio branding. This was very popular in the past where almost all major brands had a sonic jingle (thing of the Intel Inside jingle). It is decreasing in popularity these days but it is still a good idea to have some form of audio branding in your brand strategy.


One of the strongest brand attributes is authenticity which is the quality of being genuine. You can have authenticity in your brand story, your message communication, your product or service, your customer service, and more. Every brand should strive to gain authencity.


Bandwagon Effect

The phenomenon where the more people believe in something, the more others will jump into the same belief – usually without critical self-thinking. This effect is used effectively by a lot of brands in conjunction with social proof. We usually do not prescribe to this tactic as you can not control the effects.

Blue Ocean Brand Strategy

A blue ocean brand strategy represents the market space that does not yet exist. It’s the space that you could move into if only you knew how. If only you had an in. Knowing how—or having an in—could mean coming up with a new concept, a new manufacturing process, a new licensing deal, or something else that’s truly innovative.

Bottom Up Marketing Strategy

Marketing based on the customers and their worldview rather than top-down management or stakeholders-driven marketing based on their own financial agendas.

Brand Advocate

Brand advocates are people who help promote a brand’s products or services because they love your brand. These people can be within the brand or external. Some customers can become brand advocates as they recommend your brand to new prospects or post unsolicited glowing reviews on social media. Employees and influencers can also be brand advocates.

Brand Ambassador

brand ambassador is a person, usually a popular person, who has already got a considerable fan following, such as actors, pop stars, sportspersons, social activists and even politicians who can be used as ‘crowd-pullers’.

Brand Archetypes

The Hero Brand ArchetypePsychiatrists of the 19th century were the first to notice that many ancient works of fiction shared common characteristics. That is, these ancient works often featured hero characters that fell into certain personality profiles.

Today, we call these personality profiles ‘brand archetypes’.

What is known, and what is infinitely more useful to us, is that this impulse to stereotype is rooted deeply in human psychology. People respond to it. 

Which means, of course, that you can profit from it. 

Brand Architecture

Brand architecture can be viewed from two angles – one from a parent brand and sub-brands perspective and the second from a brand internal perspective.

In the first case, brand architecture defines the hierarchy of the parent brand and all. the sub-brands that make up the organizational entity and this allows the brand to understand and outline how the various sub-brands interact with each other.

In the second case, brand architecture defines all the elements and pillars that make up a robust brand. This includes things like brand vision, mission, core values, differentiation, positioning, visual identity, tone and messaging, and more.

Brand Belief

Brand belief occurs when customers believe in a brand so much that they stop comparing the brand with any other. They become brand ambassadors and hail the virtues of the brand and its products or services.

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Brand Awareness

A measure of how many people know of a particular brand.

Brand Consistency

How well the various marketing materials, packaging, and company actions adhere to the brand identity and brand guidelines.

Brand Experience

The experiences a customer has with a brand, whether or not there is interaction with the actual product or service.

Brand Family

A set of different brands that are organized under one umbrella brand.

Brand Franchise

A brand that is so well-recognized that the marketplace automatically views it in a positive light. Also, see brand franchising.

Brand Gap

THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building.

Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a “charismatic brand”—a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives.

Brand Heritage

Brand heritage can be defined as the long-standing record of a brand’s existence in the public domain and providing services or goods.

Brand Identity

The expression of a brand by a brand owner, and how the brand wants to be perceived by its customers specifically created by a competent brand identity designer.

If you want to learn how to design a kickass brand identity, we recommend this book by Alina Wheeler: Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

Brand Image

How a brand is actually perceived by its customers, whether or not it is consistent with the brand identity.

Brand Loyalty

How much a customer consistently patronizes a certain brand despite the presence of competing brands.

Brand Mission Statement

Your mission statement answers questions such as Why is your brand is in business, The moral and/or ethical stand of your company, How you want to be perceived by the public, How you intend to change this world through your brand and is very critical to the success of a brand.

Brand Name

Written or linguistic method of identifying a product. Usually, a brand name is trademarked to prevent imitation by or confusion with other brands.

Brand Trust

A measure of a brand’s reputation and standing with a customer. Manifests as a belief in a company’s excellence and quality and easier acceptance of new offerings.

Brand Recall

How well a brand is remembered or recognized by a customer.

Brand Refresh

A brand refresh calls for an updated logo and other design elements, but it retains a central theme. A refresh assures your audience that you’re modern and in touch, but it also conveys that you remain in tune with your industry.

Branding Guidelines

A set of rules and procedures for creating promotional material in order to stay consistent with a brand’s chosen image.

Brand Message Clarity

Your brand message needs to have an emotional aspect to it. It is not about the features but about the benefits of your product or service. People make buying decisions based on emotions. It has been scientifically proven. Your brand message must touch upon these emotions and then come to the features.

Brand Visual Imagery

But a brand’s visual imagery goes much deeper than a simple logo design. Successful brands create and use visual imagery that ties into human emotions and seeps deep into the various touch points that their target audience including packaging and campaign imagery. The way a brand’s visual imagery is created utilized can either infuriate a customer base or dramatically increase sales.

Brand Vitality

Every brand needs to grow and thrive. This is called vitality and brand vitality describes the current and future growth potential that a brand has. You need a robust brand strategy to ensure your brand is vital.


A printed document that gives a detailed explanation of a brand’s virtues. Check out our brochure designing service.

Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are research-based representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy and why they make buying decisions.

Celebrity Stylists

You might not think of stylists as the people to contact with potential business opportunities, but for fashion start-ups, having a celebrity’s stylist vouch for your brand can tremendously increase your odds of getting a celebrity partnership. After all, who’s more qualified to assess whether there’s a good fit between your brand and a celebrity than their stylist?


Caregiver Brand Archetype

The Caregiver Brand ArchetypeThe Caregiver has very high empathy. They want the best for other people and can’t stand it when another being is in pain. They offer physical and emotional protection whenever they can—sometimes to the extent that others come to rely on them too much. This archetype can be prone to self-sacrifice and can become a martyr. Read more about the caregiver brand archetype.


A form of advertisement that appears in video or audio format.

Covid-19 Brand Management

In this Covid-19 Brand Management guide, we provide tips for maintaining and even enhancing your brand image through these tough times. We start with an overview of the COVID-19 situation and its economic implications. Then we look at specific strategies you can employ to safeguard your revenue stream through savvy brand management.

Creator Brand Archetype

The Creator Brand ArchetypeCreator brands are visionaries. They seem to exist to innovate. They are non-conformist to the extreme and always strive to come across as authentic. These brands wear this desire on their sleeve. Creator brands are often in the technology, marketing or design spaces, but this is not always the case. 

They exist to empower creative consumers. 

The go-to example is Apple, but let’s look at a few others. Read more about the creator brand archetype.

Customer Avatar

A buyer persona, or customer avatar, is a marketing mechanism used by professional marketers and business owners to identify highly profitable customers. You can use customer avatars to understand what makes these highly desirable customers choose you over your competition. In general, building and maintaining customer avatars allows you to create a strong brand proposition. You do this by identifying the problems these ideal customers are trying to solve.

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Direct Mail

Contrary to popular belief, Direct Mail marketing is alive and kicking. In fact, the ROI on direct mail marketing is amongst the best in the marketing world. Direct mail can be very effective to generate leads, promote special offers, drive traffic to the business, generate retail sales and communicate with customers.


Emotional Branding

Wikipedia defines Emotional branding as a term used in marketing communication that refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a consumer’s emotional state, needs, and aspirations.

Everyman Brand Archetype

The EverymanThe Everyman wears their feelings on their sleeve. They often have unresolved psychic wounds and never hesitate to make that known. They often feel betrayed, and they can be suspicious of others. The Orphan can be cynical and manipulative. However, playing the victim doesn’t jive well with establishing a powerful brand. So from this point out, the orphan archetype will represent everyone’s need for justice, acceptance and belonging. The Orphan represents the Everyman. Read more about the everyman brand archetype.

Explorer Brand Archetype

The Explorer Brand ArchetypeThe bold traveler. They set out for uncharted waters, not necessarily hoping for adventure. It’s more that they must answer the call to see what’s out there. They have a deep love of discovering new places, things or people. They can be prone to perfectionism in that they’re never satisfied. Read more about the explorer brand archetype.


Hero Brand Archetype

The Hero Brand ArchetypeThe Hero has uncommon strength and vitality, and they use these assets to fight for virtuous causes. They’ll go to any lengths to avoid defeat. It’s hard for the hero to lose because they don’t give in. Read more about the hero brand archetype.

Hero's Journey

The Hero’s Journey is a story structure first described by Joseph Campbell in 1949. It’s an example of an archetype. You can think of it as a mold into which a writer fits their plot, characters, and setting. By sticking to this structure, the writer stands a better chance of hooking the reader. Why? Well, because the Hero’s Journey codifies features of the story shared by much of classic literature. Pretty much all of our myths, legends, and cultural stories use this format.


Innocent Brand Archetype

InnoThe Innocent Brand ArchetypeThe Innocent Brand Archetype is optimistic, to the point of naivety. They search for happiness in any situation and see the good in everything and everyone. The innocent tends to want to please others and pursues a sense of belonging. Read more about the innocent brand archetype.


Jester Brand Archetype

The Jester Brand ArchetypeThe Jester loves to laugh. Laughter is their medicine. They’ll make others laugh if they can, but often, they’re just out to create entertainment for themselves. They’re prone to boredom and pursue outlandish or unusual sources of entertainment, often creating it. They enjoy drawing people out of their shells and getting them to share a laugh. Read more about the jester brand archetype.


Logo Design

graphic or image used to represent a company, service, or product. A logo design service provided by a graphic design firm or agency.

Lover Brand Archetype

The Lover Brand ArchetypeThe Lover is sensitive. The lover is sweet. They love to love. They lavish people they care about with affection. They enjoy anything that’s pleasing. Read more about the lover brand archetype.


Magician Brand Archetype

The Magician Brand ArchetypeThe revolutionary. The Magician is an innovator, creating remarkable things seemingly from thin air. They are masters of transformation, frequently reinventing themselves. They’re capable of turning a negative into a positive, but they can also do the reverse. Read more about the magician brand archetype.

Marketing Vs. Selling

Marketing is a cerebral function – gathering information, processing it, understanding what can be sold where and in what volumes at what kind of price.

Sales is a physical function – taking the product into the market, selling it and bringing in the money. Neither function has any purpose without the other. Planning without implementation is worthless, as is action without knowing where, when, how and why to act.

If Sales and Marketing are able to use common support resources the synergies are easier to achieve.


Niche Market

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment.


Paid Search Engine Marketing

Outbound marketing means getting your sales funnel right, and learning how to connect with the demographic that will love your product or service. Unlike inbound marketing, when grabbing attention with a search engine marketing campaign (SEM), you will be paying for every click.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is the process of turning your personality into a brand both online and offline which would then support your main brand – if you so choose to.

Press Release

press release is an official communication from a company written in a journalistic format released to the general public and/or news agencies.


Deliberate efforts to manage the public perception of a company, individual, or brand. Also, check out Negative Publicity.

Publicity Strategy

The core components of a publicity strategy are Publicity campaign plan, Media Kit, Media contact list, Press release development & release, Story development & propagation and Press conferences.



Rebuilding a brand identity from the ground up in order to achieve a different brand image. Check out these 5 rebranding mistakes. Check out the case study of rebranding a 135-year-old brand. Refreshing a brand identity when either the direction or target sector changes.

Rebel Brand Archetype

The Rebel Brand ArchetypeThe Rebel provokes. They stand out from the crowd. Like the Creative, they resent conformity. However, they’re more roguish or aggressive about it. They enjoy going against the grain and avoiding the mainstream. They take pride in thinking for themselves. If taken to extremes, the rebel can become self-destructive. Read more about the rebel brand archetype.

Ruler Brand Archetype

The Ruler Brand Archetype, as you might guess, is a leader. Their priority is to bring order. The ruler is quite , but they may come across as a perfectionist. This isn’t a bad thing if they can consistently project an air of competence and can back that up. The ruler naturally wants everyone to follow their lead. 


SAGE Brand Archetype

The Sage Brand ArchetypeThe Sage is a thinker. A philosopher. Their top priority is cognition and critical thinking. They seek to understand the world around them and doing so is their grandest adventure. To do this, they bring to bear great intelligence and analytical skills. They can be quick—sometimes too quick—to offer a fact or quote in any situation.

These brands excel at using language and symbolism. They often differentiate themselves by publishing case studies and other pieces of literature that display their knowledge. 

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Sales Funnel

By constructing an efficient sales funnel, you laser-focus your marketing efforts. Without a funnel, your potential customers might land on your sales page once or twice, but if they don’t buy right then, you’ll lose them. With a funnel, you can nurture these leads wherever they happen to be in the process. Consequently, you can stop aggressively chasing sales so you can focus on improving your product or service.

Articles in this series:

How To Master Sales Funnels

How To Build A Funnel That Converts

How To Optimize Your Sales Funnel

The Power Of The Survey

Master The Art Of The Landing Page

Writing Killer Headlines For Your Landing Page

Social Media Strategy

robust and custom social media strategy includes crafting tailored messages to each social media channel and building a relationship with your target audience rather than using the channels as a megaphone to shout out discounts and deals to the world.

Social Media Management

Social media management to ensure your social media activities are on brand, communicate the right message and give your great ROI. This requires using the right tools to manage your social media campaigns.

Social Media Campaign

A social media campaign is a structured approach to broadcast a focus message to a niche target audience with the intent to create one of the following: brand awareness, brand recall, brand loyalty or sales.

Startup Incubator Branding

Startup Incubators provide mentorship, networking, and funding to entrepreneurs. Don’t confuse an incubator with an accelerator. 

Sub Brands Family

If your business has multiple brands or sub-brands, over a period of time, it becomes quite a challenge to implement consistent branding that renders each sub-brand unique and still ties it in to the family.



A short, catchy statement associated with the brand. Often used in conjunction with logos in various marketing materials. Do you need a tagline?

Target Audience

The group of people to whom the marketing message is directed. Check out the target audience checklist.

Target Market

A top-level categorization of a brand’s ideal customers. Check out this target marketing premier.


Urban & Streetwear Brands

Urban and streetwear fashion is more than a trend. It’s become a cultural phenomenon that has integrated itself into everything from high-end fashion shows to retail stores across the country.


Visual Branding

Visual Branding – the psychological aspects of visual branding and how you can use human neurology to your advantage to ensure you get maximum brand recall and brand awareness.