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What is a brand?

Branding is a form of communication. It is a form of storytelling and relies on astute emotional intelligence. Let's explore.
Sam and Shaka of ACF holding Guildsman's Shears
© Marc Haers

The definition of a brand

The Oxford Dictionary defines the noun “BRAND” as: “a particular type or kind of something, a type of product, service, etc. made or offered by a particular company under a particular name.”

We are used to hearing about branding in reference to a business, its market share, its monetization, its marketing campaigns, and so on. Brand as an item in our hands. Brand as a brick-and-mortar destination. Brand as a social media presence. Brand as a thing, an entity. Time to unlearn?!

A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.

A form of communication

Branding is a form of communication. It is storytelling. Branding relies on astute emotional intelligence as much as on accurate bookkeeping or proper stocking. In the end, it is how you have made people feel about themselves, their lives, the world around them.

This is where the idea of “Art Comes First” first comes from. Art evokes, triggers, harnesses emotion(s).

The emotions of your brand

Beyond the thumbs up, thumbs down approach to life and commerce, the range of emotions is vast. Our understanding and experience of it change over time as well.

For example, in ancient Greece, philosopher Aristotle considered friendship an emotion. In the 19th century, British maverick Charles Darwin identified low spirits and high spirits among the emotions. In 2019, American rapper Cardi B turned okurr into a whole mood.

The emotional alignment of your brand with your audience governs its chances of long-term success and relevance.

What is your brand’s emotional range?

“Happy, Happy & Happy” is not an acceptable answer. Sorry.

Moreover, it is worth exploring ways of communicating emotions without explicitly stating them as such. For Art Comes First, the emotional brand DNA is woven into the following keywords:

Sartor, Alchemy & Progression.


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Art Comes First: Exploring the Intersection of Style and Identity

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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