Branding – what does it mean and who is on top?

Pull up a chair, grab a coffee and have a read through our stories, opinions and advice.

If you’d like our latest blog delivered directly to your inbox, please subscribe!

Branding – what does it mean and who is on top?

What is a brand? This question seems to come up again and again whether you have or haven’t studied marketing and design. Fashion designer Alice Temperley stated:

The marketing author and consultant Professor Phillip Kotler offers a more complex definition of the subject:“You have to stay true to your heritage; that’s what your brand is about.”

“A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller and differentiate them from those of competitors.”

The MAXX Team feels it is essential to define branding because it is vital that every business, organisation or even individual, especially in our social-media-savvy-world, is aware of branding and what it means to their organisations – from staying loyal to your heritage to differentiating yourselves from your competition.

When people think of brands they admire or aspire to, the same names tend to appear again and again, and most people’s lists will include Apple, Google, Disney, Nike and even the BBC! A straw poll of the MAXX studio shows that the team love brands such as Molton Brown, Innocence and Audi. Dermot, MAXX’s MD confesses he is a ‘brand snob’ especially when it comes to cars. There are some makes that he claims he will never own, and we believe him! (By the way, he currently drives an Audi).

But how do YOU feel about brands? What are your favourite ones? How do you decide what is a ‘right’ brand as against a ‘wrong’ one? If it is difficult to define what branding even means, how can you define which company is best at it?

Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy, listed its top ten brands and judged them using the following criterion:

strong brands and branding

“The strongest brands are the ones that are relentlessly relevant and that make a difference to consumers’ lives.” Their top ten contained a range of brands including Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Lego. When examining these brands we feel that it is hard to deny that they have done a great job in staying relevant and aware of their customers.

Lego started in 1949 and have since then have done all they can to adapt to trends to their external environment including building the ever popular Legoland, creating video games, producing Lego versions of famous franchises and recently producing the 2014 Lego Movie.

strong brands and branding Lego has proved to be an unstoppable brand in recent years


Evolving a brand and constantly monitoring what your audience wants or expects is vital. Surprising them with something revolutionary is even better. Netflix have achieved this by making available original film and TV programmes produced by the company itself. At one point the brand was seen as just as a subscription based film and TV programme rental service, but it is now seen as an online television network that has been nominated for numerous awards.

We feel that a brand needs to evolve and this is vital to an organisation’s financial success. Companies such as Lego and Netflix have evolved their service offering and Prophet’s top ten includes companies like Amazon who has expanded its business into on-demand TV and music channels, also producing its own programmes (famously taking on Jeremy Clarkson after his BBC debacle). Google evolved its logo last year and changes the look and feel of its homepage almost daily. Apple has stayed loyal to its famous ‘bitten apple’ logo but regularly expands its product range with revolutionary new products such as the Apple Watch that grows their brand awareness even further.

MAXX specialises in design, digital and marketing and offers strategic advice and creative concepts to define, establish and expand your brand. Whether you want to stay true to your roots, differentiate yourself from your competitors or take on the big brands, just call us on 01635 521224.