Jane Lambert

1 Dec 2016

Writing in Forbes on 21 Dec 2011 "What is a brand anyway?", Jeff McLaughlin, the co-founder and CEO of, which claims to be the world’s largest and lowest-priced promotional products distributor, observed that "'brand' is one of those words that is widely used but unevenly understood." After tracing the etymology of the word he concluded:
"Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name."
A concept that is amplified by the University of East Anglia Business School in its excellent video What is branding?  

A brand is valuable if it attracts customers to a business and tempts them to consider its goods and services.  The propensity of customers to consider such goods or services is the business's goodwill.  It is an asset that can be valued on a balance sheet like land and machinery.

Brands are created by sales and marketing, advertising and promotion, customer service, third party appraisals and personal recommendations.  It can take years of effort and enormous expenditure to create a brand which is why the law protects them.

The trigger for thinking about a brand, as Mr McLaughlin, notes above is its brand name.  Use of the brand name can be restricted to the brand owner by its registration as a trade mark and the law of passing. There is also EU legislation for designating the origin of agricultural goods and beverages.

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