June 25, 2013

Brand Strategy 101: Terminology

Brand Strategy 101: Terminology

We’re starting a series of posts dedicated to terminology. Why? Well, because our clients always ask how we define or approach certain challenges. And it can be tough; especially because different branding firms define words in different ways.

And, brand strategy terms seem to be the most puzzling and sometimes, overwhelming. So, here are a few words we use (and hear) the most – with a little insight into how we define them.Puzzle_6 25 13


More than just a name or logo, a brand is…your reputation. It’s the sum of all of the experiences people have with you, what makes you different, a promise to and the place you own in the hearts and minds of your customers and your internal (employee) mantra.

Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a brand within its market. Brand strategy is the foundation for and creates consistency across all marketing programs. Strong brands have a well-developed brand strategy that complements the business strategy and drives everything from communication to brand alignment within a portfolio.

Brand Strategy at Addison Whitney

We think of brand strategy as the evaluation and definition of long-term strategy to position brands for success. A client could be looking to define who it is, how its brands relate to one another, how to name its products or how to communicate about its brand, and we approach it all with a passion to find the right solution. We know each client faces its own unique challenges and a strong brand strategy outlines a clear path to guide the client through long-term success.

Brand Equity

Brand equity is the current value and goodwill that a brand has earned in its market. Equity can be measured by:

  • Awareness: recall and familiarity of the brand
  • Associations: images current and potential customers associate with the brand
  • Loyalty: willingness of customers to repurchase and recommend

Brand Positioning

Positioning is a brand’s one big idea, what it can rally around. It’s important and believable to audience members, differentiated from competitors and sustainable in the long-term.

Brand Messaging

Brand messaging organizes and prioritizes the most relevant information and outlines how internal audiences should communicate the brand positioning to key audience groups.

Brand Architecture

The overarching strategy that outlines the role and relationship of brands in the portfolio is brand architecture. When companies acquire other brands or organizations, architecture can become muddled and confusing. A clear brand architecture builds a company’s brand from the inside, out.

Last, but not least…

Nomenclature Strategy

Nomenclature is a way of describing the strategy and guidelines for how to extend brand names within a portfolio. This strategy ensures product or service naming is consistent and makes sense to target audiences. It also provides clear direction for future naming decisions.

Apple’s iPod reflects a somewhat easy-to-understand example of nomenclature strategy. The nomenclature is the extension of the iPod name, so currently, the portfolio includes the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch and iPod classic.

So, that’s our vocabulary class for today. Hopefully, we’ve been able to clear up a little of the confusion relating to brand strategy terminology. We’ll continue these types of posts with each of our departments in the coming months!

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