Brand: What People Think Of You - When You Are Not In The Room

Apr 13, 2016
Perry Puccetti


What do people say about you when you leave the room?

There are a number of ways to define “brand” with no two being exactly the same. The American Marketing Association defines brand as, “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Fast Company refers to brand as, “the promise of value you will receive,” and Seth Godin, “a brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumers decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Personally, one of the best definitions of brand that I have heard is that “brand is what people think of you when you are not in the room.”

It is simple, to the point, and relevant to everyone - companies and individuals alike.

“Brand” should be transcendent, going beyond the limits of digital and traditional. Brand is more than what a company does, or what the product’s features are.  At its core, brand is a human experience. One where expectations, perception, and most importantly, trust matters. In fact I would argue that brand and trust are synonymous – you cannot have one without the other.

Like many things in this digital world of ours, companies no longer determine when, where, and how their brand is experienced – we do.  Our perception of a company’s brand, whether in person or online, is in many ways defined by others.  As Brian Solis states, “in our connected society, if an experience isn’t shared, it didn’t happen.”

In a digital world perception and reality are in many ways becoming less relevant, with the impression of your brand – what people think about you – becoming more so, to the extent that companies who understand this will thrive and those who do not, struggle. As Maya Angelou states, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Brand, like many things, is an expectation… product or service, organization or individual, it is what people think about you when you are not in the room.

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