What is a brand?

What is a brand? // by Sarah Zero, Wellstruck

This post is part of a series about defining branding

The first step to learning why branding is important is understanding what it is in the first place.


When people ask what I do, I used to tell them I’m a brand expert. Most of the time, they nod like they know what it is, we move onto another topic, and a few minutes later they say — “Wait. So, what exactly is branding?”

I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t know, and I don’t blame them for it one bit. Many people define it by what it isn’t — “it isn’t just a logo” or “it isn’t just graphic design.” They’re right, but that doesn’t help people understand what it actually is.

This cloudiness leads to many business owners brushing off “branding” as a buzzword that doesn’t really mean anything at all. Unfortunately, that’s a risky move because it has the potential to add quite a bit of value to your business. Let’s break that down.

The first step to learning why it’s important is understanding what it really means. Here’s how I define it:

A brand is the perception of a business (or person or product) resulting from its quality, messaging, and aesthetic over time.

If you need to read that again, go for it. It’s understandably difficult to grasp because it’s not tangible – it’s the perception, the feeling, the reputation, and the experience associated with a business.

So what kinds of tangible things affect how a business is perceived?

  1. Quality — the product or service itself and how you deliver it

  2. Messaging – what you say and how you say it

  3. Aesthetic — how you visually present your business and marketing

We’ll dig into each of these in the upcoming weeks. We'll also talk about the value of building a brand. Stay tuned!