Branding Glossary

By Caroline Hagen

Learning the language of brand can be a tricky affair, so we’ve compiled this handy compendium to help you navigate your way through any branding project.

Brand Essence

A brand’s promise expressed in a succinct and single-minded way that is rooted in a fundamental consumer need.

Brand proposition

A summary of the bundle of benefits that consumers derive out of the brand. It should include the Unique Selling Point (USP),  see definition below.

Unique Selling Point or Unique selling proposition (USP)

Is a particular quality, feature or benefit which a competitor’s product cannot offer. Often there is not a true one.

Reason to Believe (RTB)

Any proof point or fact that supports the brand’s proposition, USP or essence.

Brand Values

The code by which the brand lives. The brand values act as a benchmark to measure and guide all branded activity.

Brand Personality

Overlays human characteristics on to the brand.  The more specific these characteristics are, the more consumers will relate to them. Generic personality traits or traits that belong to the product category rather than your brand specifically will not resonate with consumers.

Tone of Voice (TOV)

How the brand speaks to its consumers through all its communications including the packaging.

Market Mapping

Is the process of identifying the key, emotional and functional, attributes that exist in a market or category and then plotting where existing brands and products are positioned against these, in an attempt to identify gaps in the market.

Brand Positioning or Market Positioning

Is how the brand is perceived against other brands in the same market or category. For example: special occasion or everyday; technological or natural.

Brand architecture

The structure and grouping of ranges and products under a brand – how they all relate and how they are differentiated from one another.

Line extension

The introduction of a new product into the same product category under an established brand name e.g. new flavours, forms, colours, added ingredients, package sizes, structure, benefit.

Brand extension or Brand stretch

Using the leverage of a brand in one category to launch a new product in a different category e.g. Innocent Drinks to Innocent Veg Pots.


A product or brand that has its own name and logo to differentiate it from the core parent range.