What Is a Brand?

Posted on May 12, 2020

Updated on October 26, 2020

2 min read time

What is a brand?

The idea of “brand” is at the heart of the marketplace – but it’s not just for corporations anymore. Anyone or thing can be considered a brand today: from a fine artist to a social influencer, a pet, or even a geographic location. The idea of brand locks into the potential of an idea to be marketable, to catch on, and to be profitable.

Let’s take the idea of a geographic location as an example.

For years, geographic locations have competed: for tourism, housing, business development, and more. This is not a new trend. But the destinations that have risen to greatest success are those that think of themselves as brands. They promote themselves; they have visual identities, they strive for consistency across their assets and behaviors, and they build relationships with people that leave an impression. They deliver a positive quid pro quo in exchange for people’s time, money, and advocacy.

Take Austin, Texas.

Austin is the best place to live in the US in 2020, according to Bankrate. It’s also a top destination for work, attracting strong interest from rising advertising and tech industries. Why is Austin continuing to attract people to live and work every year? It’s building strong relationships with people and businesses! And it’s doing that by striking a good balance between its emotional and rational drivers of relationship building.

We can use ProQuo AI’s 16-Driver Relationship Framework to understand Austin’s success.

Austin delivers on rational drivers important to people when deciding where to live and work:

  • PERFORMANCE: Low unemployment and above average income
  • VALUE: Austin’s cost of living is 3% lower than the national average
  • CONSISTENCY: Austin ranks high each year, due to consistently delivering on its core equities and maintaining “who it is”

But it also makes an emotional connection that drives deeper ties to the city:

  • ATTRACTION: the city’s restaurants, nightlife, social scene, music and tech industry converge to create a vibrant city lifestyle that makes people want to live and work there
  • ASPIRATION: famous musicians and huge events give this city a specialness
  • POPULARITY: it’s a city that is perceived as attracting people from everywhere

But just like any brand, Austin has lots of competition, and easy substitutes. People are transient and willing to move to experience new places. So as long as Austin continues to adapt to what’s important to people and give them a more positive quid pro quo than competing cities, it will continue to grow and thrive.

It’s the same with the other examples we listed: artists who radically change their look or sound might not hold onto their biggest fans; social influencers that stop posting will fade into the background; and locations with no practical pull will have a hard time recruiting new citizens. How is your company cultivating its brand?

Rethinking how we define “brands” and how they function is at the core of the work that we do at ProQuo AI. Our ProQuo AI Brand Management platform runs on 16 Drivers that are proven to measure the strength of your brand's relationship with people. Grow them, and your brand grows. We've determined that a brand manager can do a possible 25,827,165 things to make their brand win at any given time – a hugely challenging task. We simplify this daunting task by turning the art of brand management into a science with our AI. In short, we help your business get bigger, faster.

See our platform in action by taking a spin through our live demo, and see what the possibilities are for your brand.

head to live demo customer success proquo ai

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