What is a brand, exactly?

Brand is a word that gets tossed around a lot, especially in the marketing industry, but you may have wondered from time to time, what is a brand, exactly?

When someone says the word “brand” – what do you think of? A company name? A logo?  An identifying mark burned into livestock by a moderately hunky cowboy?  (This may ring especially true if you have been binging a lot of Yellowstone lately).

Here are what the experts out there say are the most important elements when developing your brand:

  • Logo – Might as well call this ketchup, because you will put this on errrryything! Your logo is arguably the most important element of your brand. It should encapsulate all that your brand represents in one neat and tiny package.
  • Tagline – This is your brand’s 30 second elevator pitch condensed down to a few words. It can give your brand more definition, a context or a deeper clarification.
  • Color palette –  The colors you choose for your brand help you express your overall personality, your vibe, your sparkle! (or anti-sparkle if you prefer)
  • Imagery – Whether you choose illustrations, photography, or abstract shapes, the style of graphics or images you select to represent your brand can go a long way in telling your brand story.
  • Fonts – The typefaces you choose to represent your brand are super important. They can communicate everything from style to emotion to values.

All of these elements are in a big way the main foundation of a brand. But did you know a brand can (and should) be even more?

The very best brands are not only made up of these recognizable marks and physical elements above, but also include those unique, less tangible identifiers that make clients and consumers want to choose your product over something similar. Elements like:

  • Tone or Voice – one of the most effective ways to mold how your brand is perceived. The way you speak to your audience, answer questions, how your posts are written on social media – all of these are helping to create an overall tone to your brand.
  • Positioning – what are you offering clients that others don’t? What makes you unique and how do you fit in that space?  Knowing your position in the market you are after is key, and often can help you determine how to choose some of your other brand elements.
  • Emotion – how does your brand make your customer feel?

Taking those traditional, factual elements (your logo, color palette, the style of your imagery) and tying them in with those emotional elements that are generated when your clients interact with your business create your overall brand experience. Your voice, your presence in social media and video, they all come together to tell your story. Are you fun and trendy? Sophisticated and professional? Casual and heartwarming? Taking all those unique ideals you have selected, and rolling them into a nice big ball of brand for your clients to learn to love.

Eventually, you want your prospective client or customer to think and feel a certain way when they hear or see your name, and the best way to accomplish this successfully is through consistency. Making sure that all the elements of your marketing match perfectly – not only in design, but in style and tone – and project the same emotion or feeling help make it a more recognizable force. A solid and consistent brand identity should mean that your customers know it’s your product or service before even getting into the meat of the post or video.

The especially exciting news is this is something that can be followed on any level – whether your business is a multi-million fortune 500 or a mom & pop doing craft shows. Anyone and everyone can benefit from creating a brand and doing the groundwork to make it known.

If you don’t know where to start, our marketing team here at systemaxsolutions.com would be happy to help you craft a brand that really stands out!



Did you know the introduction of the term Brand actually started with the cattle ranchers over a century ago burning their marks into their heads of cattle to distinguish it from other ranchers as they would drive them across the plains?



Author Info

Hey there! I am Jeniffer Stump and I am the Art Director here at Systemax. I help lead our team of creatives and work to cultivate and develop innovative design solutions so all of our client’s advertising and marketing dreams can come true. When I am not at this desk, you can find me with my family (more like driving my kids somewhere) or creating on my sewing machine.