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What is branding? Definitions and guidance for consumer branded goods

Author's avatar By Gabrielle Wright 21 Apr, 2021
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Branding means fully integrating your customers' experiences of your brand. We'll recommend marketing tools and training to show you how, as well as taking an in-depth look into the definition of branding

What's the definition of branding? Across numerous terms and definitions, one thing that rings true for pretty much all of them is a heightened focus on your customers' experiences of your branded goods or services, compared to your competitors. But what is meant by brand definition today? And what can brand marketers learn from this?

We've all seen that, to succeed in today's competitive omnichannel environment, it's more important than ever that brands champion their key customers (both potential buyers and those with existing lifetime value) in all of their marketing activities. You need a data-driven, customer-focused approach to marketing to outpace your competitors.

As a result, we guarantee that all our marketing training is integrated across our tried and tested RACE Framework, which enables marketers to measure their marketing activities across all customer touchpoints in their lifecycles. So you can plan, manage, and optimize your brand strategy. Let's find out how.

Implementing the RACE Framework for consumer branded goods marketing

We recommend the RACE Framework for all brands creating or developing their brand strategy. This step-by-step process empowers marketers to apply data and best practices to optimize their key marketing activities that influence their customers' experiences of their brand, and benchmark their competitors.

The RACE Framework offers a streamlined marketing structure for brand marketers and managers, integrated through plan, reach, act, convert, and engage. This funnel includes marketing solutions to boost all your brand strategy planning, outreach, acquisition, and post-purchase brand loyalty. Find out more.


Omnichannel Marketing funnel

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What is branding?

A brand is defined as the image that a company or entity showcases in order to portray its services and core values. In essence, a brand is the face of a business. It’s what the public sees when they look up your company and what they think about when they contemplate your service.

This differs from our usual definition of a business, which is a more general term that involves all of the back-end steps that the public doesn’t see. A brand image, as a definition, lets the consumer know what to expect from your organization and serves as a promise that you’ll deliver what is offered.

Popular branding definitions

Brands and branding activities are not new phenomena, so it's not a surprise that a number of definitions have emerged. Here are some contrasting top picks:

Econsultancy brand definition:

  • Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception.

Shopify brand definition:

  • The purpose of branding is to simply and easily help your customers understand what you offer and how you’re different.

American Marketing Association brand definition:

  • A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

Brand positioning definition:

I've also included the below definition of brand positioning by Dave Chaffey, since it puts the emphasis on the marketing activities that establish the brand's relationship with its customers. Which is a key next step for any brand strategy.

"A strong brand positioning is vital for a brand to differentiate from its competitors to explain its benefits. It’s best to think of it from the audience's perspective."

  • Focus on the benefits
  • Focus on the consumer
  • Focus on how the company does business
  • Focus on the competitors

Marketing training to strengthen your brand today

What really stood out to me reading all those brand definitions is the emphasis on the customer, both in terms of strengthening their relationship with your brand but also differentiating yourself from competitors. That's why I'm recommending 2 modules from our popular Learning Path training that will help you strengthen your branded consumer goods and services starting now.

We've got strategic marketing solutions for brands of all shapes and sizes looking to accelerate their branding ROI. Find out more about our marketing tools proven to generate growth.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

Benchmarking for brand definition

Our 'competitor benchmarking with RACE' module, from our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path, uses a data-driven approach to benchmarking, enabling brand marketers to measure and compare the most important metrics and KPIs during your customers' decision-making process.

This diagram, from the module above, demonstrates the omnichannel (also known as multichannel, or cross-channel) nature of many customers' relationships with their chosen brands. That's why savvy branding leaders dedicate so much time to ensuring their customers' journeys are consistent and efficient. Use our marketing tools and templates to streamline your strategy and satisfy your customers.

Multichannel online offline marketing for manufacturing

Media for brand definition

Our 'define acquisition and budget and plan' module, from our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path, enables marketers to optimize their media strategies and tactics across the range of paid, owned, and earned media.

As you can see, omnichannel media channels offer branded goods marketers a plethora of opportunities to reach, interact with, convert and engage customers. We offer channel specialist marketing training, including our dedicated Learning Paths for SEO, social media, and content marketing, through a number of Smart Insights Membership options. Get started today.

Tech media marketing for reach

Our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path is packed with all the resources you need to upskill yourself or your team, to drive performance and grow your business.

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

Brand definition of success

Just as people want to feel connected with one another, consumers want to feel connected with the goods and services they buy and use. This explains why 65% of customers who feel a sense of connection with a brand perceive that the brand cares about them as an individual - that they’re more than just another sale.

Similarly, branding conveys the values of a business, which prospective customers want to relate to. To 64% of customers, shared values are a primary reason they develop loyalty to a brand.

By understanding the fundamentals of branding and applying these tips, your brand will be sure to stand out. Take the time to look after the basics of branding and you’ll know how to craft a stronger brand identity right from the start.

Find out more about creating an effective brand identity with this infographic from DesignRush.


Whether you need to create an integrated omnichannel plan, learn best practices for digital channels, or develop your team skills, we've got you covered. Join thousands of Smart Insights business members applying the RACE Framework to plan, manage, and optimize their marketing strategies to win more customers.

What's more, our marketing training, templates, and tools are already helping thousands of business members in planning and strategizing for growth. We've got marketing solutions proven to drive growth for branded consumer goods companies. Why not take a look and find out what we can do for you?

Can your branded consumer goods business compete online?

With so much competition, you need to stand out

Get started now

Author's avatar

By Gabrielle Wright

Gabrielle Wright is the Smart Insights blog editor, managing the company's SEO and social media strategies. With specialisms in marketing for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, financial services, manufacturing, IT/high tech, brands and e-commerce, Gabrielle can generally be found in her second-floor Bingley terrace home office, with a cup of tea, reading and writing about marketing theory and its practical application in the global economy! You can connect with Gabrielle on LinkedIn.

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