Brand is the “outward or external identity” of the company or organization. An ode to the cattle trade of the Wild West, Brand has generally referred to the image that characterizes the uniqueness of the organization – in essence, the promise of a company to its market. This includes the set of colors and logos, statements and “personality” of itself that the organization seeks to share with others. This internally generated and externally shared aspect of Brand is still true.
However, there is now an added complexity to the contemporary realization of this word “Brand,” owing to the fundamental power shift underway between companies and their customers and employees. Now, those customers and employees actually license the Brand (and organization) for continued operation in its chosen space and identity. The Brand is no longer simply a promise expressed by the business to foster favorable buying behavior by a customer; rather, it is becoming a license of permission from the customer, granted according to the activity and behavior of the business.
Thus, Brand now exists (or soon will) as first of all the stamp of license from outside the organization which validates (or not) the image of identity it produces from within. As such, Brand will be a mark earned by Authenticity, a social license granted in perpetuity, yet withdrawn at any time.