What is a brand?

It’s easy to come up with any number of definitions of a brand – as a simple online search will provide. Most often quoted is Philip Kotler’s: “a name, term, sign or symbol or a combination of these, that identifies the maker or seller of a product”.

I’m not totally happy with that as it is putting too much emphasis on the signifier rather than the signified in my opinion. I prefer a more experiential definition along the lines of : “a mental construct of the values, information and expectations an entity, created by experience”.

But whatever definition we use, the question of what we consider to be a brand remains. The term ‘brand’ is being used with increasing frequency in the media and is applied to all manner products, services, organisations, political parties, religions and even people.  But what do you think are the necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be considered ‘a brand’?


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