Why a dictionary of brand? Because brands are increasingly built by specialists, and specialists can only succeed through collaboration. Collaboration, by practical necessity, requires a common langue.
Today we find ourselves in the position of the six blind men of Hindustan, unable to describe an elephant except through our separate specialties. The brand is the product, says the product manager.
It’s the company’s reputation, says the PR consultant. The brand is the tagline, says the copywriter. No—it’s the visual identity, says the graphic designer. Our brand is our culture, says the CEO. The brand surely derives from functionality, says the engineer. Like the blind men of the fable, all of us are partly right, and
all of us are wrong.
The Dictionary of Brand is the first step in creating a “linguistic foundation”—a set of terms that allows specialists from different disciplines
to work together in a larger community of practice. Neither the terms nor their definitions are carved in stone; we’ll most certainly find that many are
malleable, some are fluid, and a few are provisionary as we co-develop the practice of brand building.
Although the terms are widely used by brand specialists, most have yet to appear in other
Source: The Dictionary of Brand, Marty Neumeier
ISBN # 978-0-9896538-0-0
First edition published in August 2004 by AIGA
aPrinted and bound in the USA by Almaden Press