Actually, I got two comments - one I percieved as negative, and the other nicely giving me a some latitude. Hmmm.
"A brand is an ensemble of emotional meanings & attributes that provide an associative interface for the mind of a consumer"
Let me take another stab at this...
It doesn't matter what you think a brand is - it matters only what the consumer perceives it to mean to them.
Or, expressed another way: A Brand is the promise of what a consumer believes they will achieve/feel/become from using the product/service.
Succinct enough? Jargon-free enough?
Now, the more than 25 word version of what I wrote:
A brand has to form a "whole" around a set of meanings and/or attributes. This "whole" provides an interface that a consumer can use to emotionally associate that "whole" with their life - their needs/desires.
Any definition of Brand that doesn't include (and focus on) the consumer as part of the definition, I think, is wrong.
What do you think?
Got a very nice email from John Moore - looks like I misinterpreted his comment.
Jon... please don't perceive my comments on your definition of a brand as being "negative." That was not my intention...
We actually had a really nice email exchange about the whole thing. I thought that was very nice. Wish I would have emailed John first and asked him what it was he really meant. But, too late for that... Woops! Kind of like wanting to put toothpaste back in the tube.