Edited by Jeff Swystun
The most powerful ideas are simple, and brands adhere to the same rules. Just ask a few people you know, who aren’t in the industry, and you will find that they are able to articulate the idea behind a great brand in just a few short, focused words. Good branding is therefore “easier said than done.” Creating simple, but powerful,differentiation in the minds of your customers, your staff, indeed all your stakeholders, requires a clear and compelling vision that is expressed in everything you do; from product to service, through environments, to the people you hire, and the way you talk about yourself. Maintaining such simplicity throughout the complex systems, processes, and politics that characterize modern business is aconsiderable task, requiring absolute focus, passion, and conviction. No wonder then, that as competition increases, brands are playing an ever-increasing role in business strategy. It is now common knowledge that branding is fundamental to business success, and probably why our Best Global Brands league table is one of the top three published business rankings in the world. At Interbrand we havealways placed great emphasis on the need for a balance between the logical and the creative. Brands, after all, live in our heads and our hearts. But ultimately, brands are value generators for business and this is our true obsession; using our creativity and strategic thinking to create value. Indeed, increasingly we are serving the need for a deeper understanding of how brands generate valueand the use of that information to inform better business decisions. Initially, we thought it strange to be creating a glossary, which by its nature makes complexity easy to understand, about a subject area that demands simplicity! But the language of branding simply reflects the depth of the subject and, as we all know, brand language is varied, misunderstood, and often abused. This book became ourduty, indeed a labour of love! With this glossary, the people of Interbrand have set out to demystify, educate, inform, and entertain. We hope to provide a common language allowing us, the brand practitioners, owners, and otherwise interested parties, to focus our debate and energy on improving our use and understanding of brands as a force for business. A simple idea indeed.
Jez FramptonGroup Chief Executive Interbrand
Behind every great brand is a great idea
If you are setting out to edit a glossary (and I am quite confident that few of you are) there are three lessons worth sharing. The first is to more than double your original estimate of the time required to complete such an effort. I affectionately compare the process to that of cutting off ahead of the mythical monster Hydra – complete one term and it produces two more. The second lesson is to ensure it is not the only project you are pursuing. Diversions will maintain your sanity and actually offer greater context. Through the process I found myself re-examining many areas that are taken for granted, such as, how we process communications and information, how we purchase brands, andhow subjectivity and objectivity compete in decision-making. This helped shape the content. The third and most important lesson is to have access to the leading subject matter experts. I thankfully had access to over 1,100 of my colleagues, representing different branding disciplines from all regions of the world. Their brainpower is truly impressive and I wish to acknowledge outstanding individualcontributions. Jason Baer (New York) provided expertise in naming and verbal identity with his infectious enthusiasm for this aspect of branding. Walter Brecht (Cologne) put himself in the place of his clients to continually challenge the content. Jean-Baptiste Danet (Paris) provided calm guidance and support during the entire process. Rita Clifton (London), a recognized expert on global...