What Is A Brand – And What It Is Not: Branding Explained

What is a brand? How does a place brand differ from a product or service brand? This reader question brings us back to the roots of place branding and is especially relevant since we use the terms "brand" and "branding" all the time. Below the answers of our panel of place branding specialists (in alphabetical order –  highlighted respondents are available for consulting, research or as speakers).

A few key takeaways:

  • We identify ourselves with brands and they can become part of who (we think) we are.
  • Branding is the process of ensuring people understand the brand (promise).
  • Brand has two components: brand identity (what we see, e.g. design elements) & brand image (our perception of something, such as a place).
  • A brand is the defined DNA of a place, what makes it special and unique.
  • A brand may or may not have a logo. Logos are losing importance.
  • A brand becomes a prism via which members of the audience interpret everything that is related to the brand: behaviours, communication, crisis situations etc.
  • Brands are a source of unity and identification internally (for employees or citizens).
  • Brand is a vehicle to link identity with image.

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The Editorial Team

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