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What exactly is a brand? It's a question that has confounded the academics for decades and eluded the most erudite of scholars. So, coming from the trenches of the real world of branding, we've defined the term and given it a comprehensive meaning..

A brand consists of eight basic building blocks:

- The Name
- The Logo (brand icon)
- The Brand's Colors
- The Slogan and Brand Messaging
- The Sound of the Brand
- The Overall Look and Feel = The Brand's Position
- Packaging the Brand
- The Brand Experience

A Brand is the greater sum of its parts. It is always more than just the nuts and bolts, the pieces; great brands are always the result of the whole equaling more than the sum of its parts.

Branding is about making me, the consumer or buyer, more hip, more in the "know," more cool than anybody else. We are a generation and a nation wanting to be special. We want to be richer, more beautiful, better dressed and more effortlessly gorgeous than any other generation that we know.

We want everything to mean more. We want everything to have meaning. That's why we flock to the reality shows. Why we love "The Apprentice" and "American Idol" and other top realistic shows. We crave authenticity in this age of fabrication and falsehood. We "just want to be real."

We want to be able to trust what we buy and whom we buy from. That's why Coke is still the number one brand in the world. The more we know about a brand, the more we trust it. The more we trust it, the more we buy it and continue to experience it. The more we experience it, the more loyal we become.

Loyalty is the currency that cannot be traded for dollars.

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