How We Define Branding.

How We Define Branding.

C.W. Harris Chicago is a full-service branding and marketing agency that connects your brand to its target audience.

So, what exactly is branding and how does it benefit your brand?

These are great questions because, one, branding is more encompassing than many people give it credit for, and two, how it benefits your brand is the major issue that must be addressed.

If you look up the definition of branding in most dictionaries, what you will find is a descriptor that is woefully inadequate for what branding has evolved to, at least from a marketing and advertising perspective. For example, the Merriam-Webster definition of brand is as follows:

noun \ˈbrand\

Simple Definition of brand:

  • a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name
  • a particular kind or type of something
  • a mark that is burned into the skin of an animal (such as a cow) to show who owns the animal


In times past, these examples may have been enough. You purchased a McDonald’s hamburger, a Ford truck, or Tide detergent. Or a brand was just he sign branded into cattle to identify which ranch/farm that they were from. There is no delineation between a brand name and the brand.

In legal practice, your brand is your trademark. It is your name, logo, sign, tagline, slogan, packaging, device, etc., or a combination thereof. The owner or licensee of a trademark (brand) has the right to exclude others from using that trademark by registering it with the U.S. patent and trademark office.

In today’s hyper-competitive markets, a brand’s name, or its logo, or its tagline, etc., are all just a part of the overall brand.

In our previous blog series, The Rise Of The Active Consumer (, we wrote extensively about the new digital world and the effect that it has had on marketing, advertising, and the brand/consumer relationship. We discussed how modern consumers gain access to information and are becoming increasingly influential. This has caused the definition of “brand” to evolve to be a broader set of consumer contact across all channels of communications and touch points. In The Rise Of The Active Consumer series we also mentioned how social media has had the effect of changing marketing from being a one-way conversation where a brand is doing all of the talking, to a two-way conversation with a consumer/potential consumer.

“Long gone are the days of the passive consumer who was marketed to via a one-way conversation where business controlled the dialogue (print, radio, television, billboards, etc.): ‘This is who we are, this is what we do, this is our product line, this is why you should choose us, and this is where you can find us.’ It was broad and, in many ways, impersonal. Today, the Internet and social media have turned that exchange on its head, and given way to a new paradigm driven by the active consumer. The active consumer is a different beast altogether. The active consumer, through new media, has a voice in the marketing discussion now. Armed with information that is expected to be found quickly and with ease, the active consumer also expects quick responses to questions and for there to be a more two-way, conversational relationship between them and the businesses that they support.”

Understanding this, at C.W. Harris Chicago we consider a brand to be an experience. It is consistently delivering your brand’s promise (distinct value offered and delivered) at every point of interaction with customers/potential customers.

Next week we will delve further into brand experience, its components and its importance. Being that this is what we do, I am going to have a ball writing this series!

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C.W. Harris Chicago is a full-service branding + multimedia marketing agency that connects brands to their target audience through the telling of their inspired story.

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  • Avatar
    Posted at 07:10h, 01 October Reply

    Great read!

  • A Brand Is An Experience - C.W. Harris Chicago
    Posted at 23:47h, 02 October Reply

    […] off of that debacle! Last week we discussed (anchor word, deep link to last week’s blog: how branding is more encompassing than people give it credit for, and that it is imperative that companies […]

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