C’mon, really, what’s a Brand?


Brand Disclaimer

This ongoing blog is based on our business tagline and the name of our podcast, which is “Brands Made Meaningful.”  Strangely, oddly, and please don’t ask us why, but we’ve never done a podcast or a blog on specifically, What is a Brand? In our own defense, we’ve been busy branding.


Your Brand is: How people perceive you.

Thank you for reading Sussner Blog #21. Any questions?


How do you control perception?

First: Create a brand strategy for your organization. This is what your company is built on—your culture, your operations, your products, and what you actually do. What is the vision of the company?

Second: Build a brand architecture. This is the structure that organizes your products and service lines. It’s the relationships between various brands or subbrands within your organization.

Third: This is the brand creation phase. This is where we at Sussner spend the majority of our time and brain cells. We refer to this as foundational branding, verbal branding, visual branding, the designing of your story, your messaging, and your look. It’s essential that it is all authentically rooted in who you are.

Fourth: And now we have… brand activation. This is that time period when the things, the stuff, the tangibles, the tech and the tactical touch points get created.

These steps define and distinguish your brand—if you don’t everyone else will—and rarely will they agree.


Is a Brand a logo?

See podcast episode #10 and/or Blog post December, 20, 2022.

Short and somewhat harsh answer: “Nope.”


Is a Brand more than a product or service?

Short and somewhat cheerful answer: Yes, it is. We’ll elaborate.

Your brand is affected by everything. True, “everything” is quite a lot, but these are things you can control and within a genuine brand, they will come naturally.

Your brand is built with every touch point and every interaction your customer has with you. Beyond how your product functions or your service is performed, your brand is influenced by the gut feeling each individual walks away with.

It’s an ongoing dialogue, interaction and validation. It’s a back-and-forth and a give-and-take… although, you’re doing most of the giving.


Who else influences how your brand is perceived? 

The choices you make in terms of hiring people who represent the culture you have defined is critical. Beyond your own employees are your associations. 

Partners. Sponsors. Endorsements. Affiliations. Who and what you share on social media. Who and what you like on social media. Aka, Just about everything and everybody.


Yes, it’s a Rabbit Hole 

We know this is a rabbit hole. If this blog had a logo it would be a deep, dark hole with a rabbit’s foot on a chain (sorry about that), and the tagline would be: “Good luck down there.” We hope we’ve helped.


Here are a few of our favorite branding books:

Harry Beckwith—Selling the Invisible. A classic that still rings true.

Seth Godin—This Is Marketing. Branding is the mental shorthand for the promise you make. 

Marty Neumeier—The Brand Gap. If you only read one branding book this year, read this one.


Happy Branding,

Team Sussner


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Brands Made Meaningful

A Sussner Podcast


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