You’re probably familiar with the concept of “branding.”But if I were to ask you for a precise definition of what a brand is, what would you say? We all know that Apple, McDonald’s, Starbucks and many other major corporations have spent decades and billions of dollars building their brands. Some of you may work for organizations that pay careful attention to their brand. Many of you may also be very active in crafting your own personal brand.

But what does “brand” really mean? There are as many answers to that question as there are marketing theorists.

ASA has been trying to develop its own answer lately. As a working definition, we’ve settled on this: A brand is defined by the experiences people have with a company and the expectations that are then set by those experiences, which are later reinforced by future experiences with the company.

We can make...

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