A brand is the sum of the associations, experiences, characteristics and values that distinguish a company and/or a product from the competition and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers as well as of other target groups (e.g. business partners, employees, general public).
A corporate brand usually has two sides:
- the corporate image, reflecting what external stakeholders associate with a company and
- the corporate identity, reflecting what a company wants to transport itself to the market.
The image of a brand results from given facts (such as financial, performance or technological qualities) as well as marketing and communication efforts.
Basically, a brand book is a manual, explaining the brand fundamentals and setting the rules that a company and its employees should follow when presenting a brand to the world.
The purpose of the brand book is to inform everyone whose job it is to communicate the corporate brand in order to represent the organization consistently to the market.
A brand book usually explains the brand framework, the brand strategy and the brand measures as well as some fundamental deployment rules.
A brand framework is a structural platform, comprising all key elements a company needs to define, in order to govern and actively promote its corporate brand.
The brand framework generally contains key elements of a brand like the brand position, mission, vision, values, value proposition and tagline, integrating those into a consistent structure.
The brand framework is usually explained in a brand book.
The term brand measures refers to all kind of measures a company deploys to enable a consistent brand communication and perception and to strengthen its brand appearance.
The brand position explains in one sentence who the organization is.
A brand strategy defines the key objectives and strategic measures a company is following to strengthen its brand position on the market.
In general, the overall underlying goal of a brand strategy is to nurture and further fortify a company’s market reputation.
The communication strategy of an organization outlines how a company wants to communicate concretely with its key stakeholders and how it intents to spread the fundamental key brand messages.
The communication strategy is based upon the brand framework and designed to help an organization communicate effectively, meet core organizational objectives and create a strong reputation.
Like the corporate mission does for the entire organization, the divisional mission defines the purpose and reason of existence of a specific corporate division.
It explains what a division is standing for, what it beliefs in and what it wants to achieve for society in one short summarizing statement.
In contrast to the corporate mission, divisional missions are not communicated externally, except from some rare occasions. They rather have the role of an internal motivational instrument than being an element of external brand communication.
A corporate mission is the key element of a brand framework.
It defines the purpose and reason of existence of a corporation.
The corporate mission outlines in a few words or sentences, what a company is standing for, what it beliefs in and what it wants to achieve for society in general.
The strategic focus markets reflect the strategic business areas (SBAs) a company is focusing on in its business activities.
The strategic focus markets usually relate to those market fields, where a company possesses core competencies, where it can clearly differentiate from competition and where it can claim to fulfill a specific brand promise to its customers.
The corporate tagline, often also referred to as “corporate claim”, summarizes the corporate mission of an organization in one catchy phrase.
The purpose of the tagline is to have a short easy-to-grasp, easy-to-remember communication element to be used on key communication material such as a brochures, annual reports, presentation and exhibition stands.
A target group or target audience is a particular group of people, identified as the intended recipients of brand communication messages.
In corporate brand communication, the target groups are usually defined by the different stakeholder groups a company has, such as customers, employees & new candidates, media & general public, owners/investors/capital markets and finally policy makers.
In order to make a brand framework sufficiently actionable, it usually also contains some key target group messages, which translate the basic mission, vision and value proposition of a company into specific messages to specific target groups.
These key target group messages summarize which consistent communicative messages an organization wants to send to its key stakeholder groups and how it would like to be perceived by those on the long run seen from a brand perspective.
The key target group messages create a fundamental long-term orientation mark for the day-to-day brand communication work of a company.
In general terms, a trademark is a name, a logo, a design or an other feature, by which a brand, whether it is a corporate brand or a product/ service brand, is identified and distinguishes from other companies and their products and services.
Whereas the brand is representing the communicative identity and image of a company, the trademark constitutes its differentiating mark of recognition.
Trademarks are usually registered at Patent & Trademark Offices providing best protection for prohibiting others from using the same or a similar trademark.
For more information on the usage of the corporate trademark of Infineon and product trademarks at Infineon please see the “Corporate style guide” as well as the “Product naming & trademark guideline” of Infineon.
In general, a trend is the basic direction a variable is moving over time. Moreover, a trend reflects what is going around at a given point of time.
In business terms, trends reflect key developments which fundamentally influence the society, markets and customer behavior.
In general, two types of trends can be distinguished: Global megatrends, which are of a key interest for the entire world and specific market trends, showing where a market is moving and which are key business drivers in this specific market.
Trends are an important basis for formulating a consistent brand, business and communication strategy.
The USP (unique selling proposition), also often referred to as “unique selling point”, describes the unique benefit delivered by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.
The unique selling proposition must be a characteristic or combination of characteristics, highlighting benefits that are meaningful to consumers.
In a brand framework the USP is often defined by the value proposition.
The brand values are reflecting the key principles guiding the behavior of an organization.
They outline the key fundamentals of the business philosophy of an organization and explain how an organization wants to interact with its customers, partners, shareholders and which each others.
They also reflect how a company wants to be seen by its target groups.
The value proposition describes the differentiating USP (unique selling proposition) of a company.
It summarizes in a short sentence how an organization creates value for its customers and what distinguishes it from competition.
The corporate vision is a further key element of a brand framework, usually combined with the corporate mission.
The vision reflects the strategic direction, the desired future state and the ultimate goal where a company is heading for as an organization.
In contrast to the corporate mission, which is showing what an organization already stands for today, it expresses a stretch goal what an organization wants to achieve in future (also referred to as “strategic intent”) .