A list of the terms or phrases and their definitions.

Accountability: Involves taking ownership of actions and impact. It includes taking action where responsibility is recognised. In a brand context, accountability refers to acknowledging the impact that the brand has (through it’s business practice or value chain) and in turn behaving in a responsible way, that does not encourage or increase negative impact. Brands and/or businesses should be required to justify their actions and decisions.

Authentic: The origin is undisputed, i.e. in a brand context; the communication coming from the brand is one that is inline with the brand’s personality and approach. Authentic also speaks of originality and reliability.

Brand: A pocket of positive and negative associations held in the mind of the consumer. A brand is the name, symbol or icon attributed to a specific product or service; it is one of the elements that are actively communicated to a set target audience.

Brand Equity: According to Aaker (2009:17) Brand Equity involves four key dimensions, namely: “brand awareness, perceived quality, brand associations and brand loyalty.” He further described brand equity “as the brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a product or service.”

  • Brand Awareness: refers to the “attitude” toward the brand, and the level of familiarity with the brand.
  • Perceived Quality: the set of associations relating to quality of goods or services, held in the mind of the consumer/customer.
  • Brand Associations: “can be anything that connects the customer to the brand.” This can include dimensions such as imagery or icons, personality traits and other links.
  • Brand Loyalty: The degree to which the customer/consumer expresses loyalty to a set brand.

Brand Identity: “A set of associations” that represents what the brand stands for (Aaker, 2009:40).

Business Model: A design that determines the operation of business. This includes identifying elements such as revenue sources, customer segment, goods or service delivery and finances.

Business Practice: The way a business acts and carries out business in order to deliver against its promises and offering.

Consumer: The end user of the product or service.

Consumption: Refers to the using of a resource. The purchase (or use) of products and/or services.

Customer: A person or organisation that purchases (or uses) goods or services from another organisation, person or brand.

Carbon Emission: The release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon emissions are usually attributed to human activity on the planet.

Carbon Footprint: The amount of carbon dioxide created and emitted by an individual or organisation.

Corporate Social Investment: Money invested, by corporate entities, in social causes.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate recognition of the role and contribution they are required to fulfill.

Green-washing: The misuse of the sustainability trend, where organisations and brands make false claims to sustainable business practice.

Healthy Brand and Healthy Brand Criteria: Please see The Healthy Brand page.

‘Jump on the bandwagon’ : to follow suit or to follow the trend without real understanding or commitment.

Renewable: Not permanently depleted through used.

Shareholders: Owners of shares in an organisation.

Sustainable: Able to be maintained. In the context of Sustainable Insight, sustainable refers to a way of business practice, consumption and living that does not impact access of future generations to certain, key resources. Sustainable also refers to ensuring the capability of future generations to sustain themselves.

Stakeholders: Individuals (or collective entities) with an interest or concern in how a brand/organisation behaves and/or succeeds. This can include employees, suppliers and customers.

Value: The usefulness and perceived quality of something, usually relating to the goods or services offered by a brand/organisation.

Value Chain: The processes and practices through which a brand/organisation creates and delivers value through to the end consumer.

Window-dressing: The practice of putting up a front, and disguising problematic behind-the-scene operations. Window-dressing, in a branding context, makes the brand appear well constructed and healthy on the outside, while the inner workings are rather complex and problematic.


1 Response to Definitions

  1. Melissa Poorter says:

    I found your definitions to be thorough and helpful. 🙂

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