Are all names brands? Should we automatically confer the status of brand on a name or a logo? I think not.
Sometimes a name is just that–a name. Sometimes a logo is nothing more than a meaningless symbol.
This happens when potential customers don’t recognize the name or logo, or if they do, have no sense of its raison d’être.
In cases such as these the belief that a name or logo is a brand is largely wishful thinking on the part of the owner.
The owner may refer to his or her company as a brand. She or he may talk about this or that product or service as a brand. But saying it doesn’t make it so.
Owners can’t confer this status–only customers can.
A name only becomes a brand when it acts as an anchor in a customer’s mind for a compelling promise of value.
After all, what is the purpose of a brand if not to facilitate decision making for customers between alternative choices?
So before an owner can conceive of the name of the company or of any of its products and services as a brand, it would be more correct to see them as a brand-in-the-making.
Once customers know the name and associate it with a compelling promise of value the transition is complete. The name or logo has likely earned the status of brand.