Branding is dead. Long live the Brand.


I’ve always had a problem with the verb Branding.

I think some companies spend way too much time thinking about logos and colours.

Of course, I believe in the importance of having a strong brand, but the reality is that a brand is a reputation, not a typeface.

You should try to make a good first impression with your appearance.

But in the end it is what you say – and even more importantly what you do – that matters.

In the long term, the way we treat people has far more impact on our reputation than our outward appearance.

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8 thoughts on “Branding is dead. Long live the Brand.

  1. Janne says:

    This Pepsi vs Coke comparison is not totally accurate. Here is a more detailed one

    Without substance there is nothing but empty (and sometimes pretty) clothes. Right on the money you are.

  2. Jussi-Pekka says:

    Well said. The typeface of the logo is only one aspect of the brand and one of the least interesting IMHO. Check out Thomas Gad’s book called 4-D branding: Cracking the corporate code of the network economy. I quite like his brand strategy model, as it is quite simple and build around functional, social, mental and spiritual aspects of a brand. It slices into the different levels of a brand from visual core level to the deeper level of stories behind the brand.

    The relationship between brand and reputations is also interesting. Looking from PR point of view, brand is subordinate for reputation, but from marketing point of view reputation is a part of brand. But end of the day, both are important 🙂

  3. dagood says:


    thanks for the link, which shows that the jpg i put in the post is an oversimplification, but it is only meant to represent pepsi’s sometimes desperate attempts to compete via typography and such.

    But definitely worth noting that it’s not so black and white, and great to read a fuller account of the history.


  4. dagood says:


    I shall check out that book!

    I didn’t fully understand the PR vs Marketing difference in terms of brand vs reputation. I think of them as almost synonymous. Any further explanations anywhere? Have you blogged about it or something? 🙂

  5. Jussi-Pekka says:

    Yes, they are almost synonyms as are company image or identity. Brand, image and reputation are often used interchangeably, but there are differences between these constructs. There’s plenty of literature and debate about the differences.

    In 4P’s of marketing promotion (incl. PR) is subset of marketing. But reputation is discussed more on organizational communications and public relations side. Reputation is something that is build through relationships and action with different stakeholders. Marketing effect reputation, but so do many other things.

  6. dagood says:

    @Jussi-Pekka, the literature is mostly outdated now anyway, you know that!

    I’m going to stick to my original thought: there is no material difference between Brand and Reputation, they are one and the same thing at least from a customer’s standpoint (which is the one that matters)

    It seems Seth agreed with me 😉

  7. Mikko Simon says:

    Good stuff Dan! And JP, thanks for that link, too – those two brands always generate a ton of comments, which are almost as interesting to read as the initial article they’re referring to!

  8. Marko Sykkö says:

    And now they’re going to be “Peps”. 🙂

    Great posts Daniel, just found this blog / via twitter. I will follow. 🙂

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