There are as many definitions of “brand” as there are brands themselves.
One of the simplest and most accurate definitions of brand is: an individual’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.
Note that brand is ultimately determined by individuals unaffiliated with the product, service, or organization—by audiences, not marketers. It is the challenge of marketers and others within an organization to shape that reputation in the minds of audiences—particularly its target audience. In order to shape perception, marketers must communicate authentic stories in authentic ways in order to build a narrative that rings true.
This brand toolkit is based on marketing research that identified UM-Flint’s existing brand among our target audience: future and current students. It outlines ways in which UM-Flint can build on the attributes of the existing brand that this important group already finds authentic, differentiating, and appealing.