Yesterday’s Brand is Today’s Experience

While watching this YouTube video  from American Express Open Forum my definition of brand dramatically change.  I now define brand as :

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer. 

A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.

A brand used to be something else. It used to be a logo or a design or packaging. Today, that’s a shadow of the brand, something that might mark the brand’s existence. But just as it takes more than a helmet to be a football player, it takes more than a designer prattling on about texture to make a brand. If you’ve never heard of it, if you wouldn’t choose it, if you don’t recommend it, then there is no brand, at least not for you.

Design is essential but design is not brand.