What is a brand?
This brings me back to the story about the origin of brands. Two cow boys were herding their own respective cows in the open plains, where the cows were grazing on grass. At the end of the day, the cows have wandered all over the grass field, that no one can identify which cow belongs to whom. Oh dear. That seems like a real big headache.
They managed to compromise on the cow selections, and each went back to their own farms. The management scratched their head, and voila!, came up with a brilliant suggestion: brand the cows. Take an iron brand heated up by fire, and then brand each of the cows with the symbol of the company they originate from.
That might suggest brands refer to identity. Yes, to a certain extent. So marketers have claimed that the logo and the distribution channels are part of the brand. And that the products and services are part of the brand. Yes, again, only to a certain extent.
You see, branding today is about how the brand is perceived by the consumer, not by the marketers. All the elements above form part of the elements of branding, that influences how the consumers perceive the brand, and the feelings invoked by the brand in them.