What is a brand?

hawaiian_leis1A brand is defined as: the image or impression your customers have of your business. It is something customers have in their minds, an idea. Nike, Starbucks, Apple and Trader Joe’s are four great examples. It’s not about the shoe or the coffee or the laptop or the grocery store, it is about the experience.

A brand isn’t really about colors and logos—that’s only part of the story. Successful branding is you, the consumer, knowing ahead of time how you will feel about a service or a product when you decide to buy. The Hawaiian shirts and the handmade signs are the most effective way TJ’s can get its main branding message out: “We are not like the big chain grocery stores. We have fun here, and we know you will too.” Of course, branding doesn’t work if your product is unworthy—so rule #1 in marketing is: “Start with a great product. Then promote it.”