Branding Glossary

By Gerd Waloszek & Christine Wiegand, SAP User Experience, SAP AG – February 21, 2003

Below you find a short branding glossary. In some cases we offer more than one definition because the definitions vary depending on the source.

See the references for further branding glossaries; most definitions here are based on or taken from these glossaries.


Audible Language

The sound of the brand. Includes music and audible textures that help define the brand and it’s culture.
(From: WOW)

See also: Brand Identity, Visual Language



A name (proper noun), term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies an individual, a firm, a product or a service as distinct from others. A successful brand offers differentiating values for buyer appreciation.
(Based on definitions from HMC and JA, modified)

A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed.


Brand Awareness

The strength, or relative weakness, of an brand's presence in the minds of prospective customers. When people hear a brand's name, they should immediately recognize it.
(From: STA, modified)

See also: Brand Recognition


Brand Equity

The marketing and financial value associated with a brand's strength in a market. It creates a positive brand image, drives demand, and modifies client attitudes toward the brand.
(Based on definitions from HMC and JA, modified)


Brand Extension

A company's use of one of its existing brand names as part of an improved or new product, usually in the same product category as the existing brand. In other words: extending the use of a brand to other, typically similar products.
(From: HMC)


Brand Identity

All of the visual and audible elements that are used by an observer to recognize a brand (stationery, signage, logotype, mark, service, and packaging).
(From: JA, expanded)

See also: Visual Language, Brand Language, Audible Language


Brand Language

The purposeful creation or adaptation of words or phrases that will become the core element of the brand and its communication style.
(From: WOW)


Brand Loyalty

A strongly motivated and long standing decision to purchase a particular product or service.
(From: HMC)

See also: Brand Preference


Brand Mark

A non-typographic element of an artistic or representational nature, that is, the element of a brand that cannot be spoken-often a symbol or design. Many professional service firms now feature graphic symbols as a substantive form of their visual identity.
(Based on definitions from HMC and JA)


Brand Message

Combination of all the marketing efforts (Website, advertising, collateral, ...) of a company to differentiate it from the competition and to build the impression of value to the customer.


Brand Name

That part of a brand that can be spoken, including letters, words and numbers.
(From: HMC)

A brand name is the name of the distinctive product, service, or concept.


Brand Personality

A way of defining your brand through the human characteristics associated with it, such as warmth, concern, caring, etc.
(From: STA)


Brand Position

A comparative concept as to how one brand is perceived relative to others that may be considered: A brand position demonstrates a brand's advantage over its competitors.
(Based on definitions from JA and STA, modified)

A product’s position is where customers place the product or service in their minds as it relates to perceived benefits. Once a position exists, it is very expensive and unwise to try to change it.
(From: WOW)

See also: Brand Positioning


Brand Positioning

The act of defining and creating a place in a market where the product or service will have the greatest chance of success.
(From: WOW)

See also: Brand Position


Brand Preference

The degree of brand loyalty in which a customer prefers one brand over competitive offerings.
(From: HMC)


Brand Recognition

A customer's awareness that a brand exists and is an alternative to purchase.
(From: HMC)

See also: Brand Awareness


Brand Strategy

The plan for the use of the brand as part of a strategic or marketing plan of a firm.
(From: JA)


Brand Value

Brand value benefits a brand owner in various ways. The very name of a product can give customers the confidence in their decision to buy it. It also builds the customer's loyalty to a firm and its products.
(From: Chevron, modified)

Brands at the top of the Brand Value Pyramid enjoy incredible customer loyalty, an ability to charge price premiums, and an ability to sell new products and services through the brand's endorsement power."
( From: Brand Asset Management, by Scott M. Davis; Jossey-Bass, 2000)

See also: Brand Loyalty, Brand Name


Brand Value Proposition

An effective value proposition should lead to a brand-customer relationship and drive purchase decisions.
(From: Building Strong Brands, by David A. Aaker; Free Press, 1996)



Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name. Branding can be applied to the entire corporate identity as well as to individual product and service names.

Successful branding differentiates the singular brand from all others. It makes the buyer believe that there is no comparable firm, product or service. Branding is important for buyer decision-making, as it provides a short cut to identifying professional services with high value. The more distinctive the brand, the less likely a client will accept a substitute.
(From: JA, modified)

See also: Chivas Regal Effect


Chivas Regal Effect

The theory that well-known institutions are able to charge more simply because they are more well known.
(From: STA)


Color Scheme

See Scheme


Corporate Design

A corporation's attempt to get in visual sync all of its printed and online materials – stationary, business cards, the corporate outward-facing Internet site, and all kinds of collateral – in order to achieve a consistent inside and outside appearance. The corporate design is an important element of a company's attempt to establish a Corporate Indentity (CI).
(From: Branding – From a Usability & Design Consultant's Point of View, Michael Hatscher, SAP AG, modified)


Corporate Identity (CI)

Companies strive to align their outward and inward appearance and presentation according to their Corporate Design, trying to establish their own name and logo as a brand, and thus a Corporate Identity (CI). This consistent appearance and style creates a feeling of unity and identity to people within the organization and of quality and predictability to the outside. The CI's goal is to communicate a carefully shaped image of the company aimed at the audience – the company's customers and partners as well as at the employees. It can be used as one possible channel to express the corporate culture, that is the way the members of an organization see themselves and their organization, interact and communicate with each other, and have a common understanding of how to address and solve problems. So the CI can remind employees of the corporate culture whenever they deal with materials that follow the CI (carrying the corporate brand) and help foster a feeling of belonging.
(From: Branding – From a Usability & Design Consultant's Point of View, Michael Hatscher, SAP AG.modified)



Process of adapting and individualizing software for a customer and to some degree for users and their roles. Carried out by system administrators or external consultants and not by the user (preliminary).

See also: Personalization



.A device, symbol, or figure adopted and used as an identifying mark.
(From: MW)


Generic Brand

A brand that indicates only the product category and does not include the company name or other identifying terms.
(From: HMC)



A mark or device placed or stamped on an article of trade to indicate origin, purity, or genuineness.
(From: MW)


Image Attributes

Those elements that help to define the tone, manner, personality and style of a firm brand, very often the differentiating factor between similar service firms.
(From: JA)


Logotype (Logo)

A specific and unique group of letterforms or symbols that represents the firm brand.
(From: JA)



See: Brand Mark



Personalization comprises those steps for individualizing an application, that are performed by users themselves (preliminary).

See also: Customization.



Set of predefined colors, fonts, and graphical elements for changing the look of screen elements of applications or operating systems.

See also: Skin, Theme



The outermost layer of a program. Shell is another term for user interface. Operating systems and applications sometimes provide an alternative shell to make interaction with the program easier. For example, if the application is usually command driven, the shell might be a menu-driven system that translates the user's selections into the appropriate commands.
(From: Webopedia)



User interface skins are components that allow users to customize areas in programs such as backgrounds, title bars, buttons, and other graphical interfaces. Skins allow you to configure the interface by choosing different categories of skins.
(From:, modified )

See also: Theme



Web templates specify a unique page layout by determining where graphics and text are positioned on the page by using tables and CSS.
Most templates incorporate a matching theme (navigation bars, etc.), but have a predefined areas where users may add your own text and additional images.
(From: Themes in Design, modified)



Themes are a collection of graphic elements which define the look of navigation buttons, page banners, fonts, font colors, styles, horizontal rules, bullets, and a few other features.
(From: Themes In Design)

See also: Scheme, Skin, Template


Trade Name

The full and legal name of an organization.
(From: HMC)



Legal designation indicating that the owner has exclusive use of a brand.
(From: HMC)



Concept describing where a company wants to go in the future.
(From: JA, modified)


Visual Language

Photographs, magazines, books, videos/movies and fashion make up a visual language.
(From: WOW, shortened)

See also: Audible Language



Branding Glossaries



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