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A no-holds-barred explanation of common branding jargon


©Somewhere Else
A no-holds-barred explanation of common branding terms:

Brand audit An essential diagnostic that nobody wants to pay for. Critical for detecting and fixing issues. Potentially even more costly down the line, if ignored. Very much like dental checkups.

Brand positioning Where you are, compared to your competitors. The unimaginative will plot the comparison against the axes of Price x Quality.

Brand strategy Expensive, 100-page document that’s mostly useless, unless it can be translated into some tactical action plans.

Brand identity The look and feel of your brand. It also includes tone of voice and personality. If you’ve just been handed a logo… uh…

Brand guide A must-have item that lays out when, where, and how to apply your brand identity, across all communication channels. Consistent brand identity = trustworthy brand = reassured customers.

Please incorporate into your daily affirmations: “Just because no one is doing what I do, does not mean that I have no competitors.”

Customer segments No product or service is “for everyone”. If you know your customers at all, then you know that they are individuals with different wants, needs, and preferences.

Customer persona An imaginary person who represents your customers. Create one for each segment that you have. Give them names. Personas help guide decision-making. Would Karen really use an AI chatbot for ordering shoes online?

Customer journey An exercise in empathy. If you were your own customer, would you really enjoy all your push notifications?

Touchpoints Opportunities to build customer relationships that your competitors probably missed, because they haven’t exercised enough empathy in the customer journey.

Bonus Round! Buzzwords you may hear:

Customer-centric/ human-centric
Caring about the person who’s giving you money.

Engagement Figuring out if your IG followers are commenting, sharing, and re-posting… Or if they’re just dropping casual likes which don’t translate to dollars?

Impact Sadly, this means nothing to a business — unless you have quantifiable metrics with which to measure — things like environmental cost and community-building. But we should all try to consider our impact anyway.

Transform/Reimagine/Elevate Hot off the press of thesaurus.com—they all mean to change in a positive way. When used as in “change management” and “transformation consulting”, it signals a latecomer’s mad scramble to go digital.

For more confusing branding terms, please refer to

This kit contains DIY branding solutions, customisable to your pace and budget. Alternatively, request backup.
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