What is a Brand?

A brand is the proprietary visual, emotional, rational, and cultural image that one associates with a company or a product. When you think Harley Davidson, you might think “Motorcycles.” When you think Nike, you might think of Michael Jordan, or "Just Do It." When you think Microsoft, you might think "Windows." When you think Starbucks, you might think "Coffee." When you think Budweiser, you might think "Beer."

The fact that you remember the brand name and have positive associations with that brand makes your product selection easier and enhances the value and satisfaction you get from the product. While Brand X cola or even Pepsi-Cola may win blind taste tests over Coca Cola, the fact is that more people buy Coke than any other cola and, most importantly, they enjoy the experience of buying and drinking Coca Cola. The fond memories of childhood and refreshment that people have when they drink Coke is often more important than a little bit better cola taste. It is this emotional relationship with brands that make them so powerful.

Brand Management