Today, we can talk at length about having a brand and a reputation. Both share approaches and goals, are shaped by communications and seek to improve perceptions.

But differences exist. Brand is a “customer centric” concept and a direct expression of strategy and growth planning. It generates desire and differentiation, and motivates buyers to pay more for your products than they might otherwise.

Reputation, on the other hand, is a “company centric” concept. Reputation is the sum total of your track record and is what the organization is known and respected for.

Building your brand is a daily responsibility. And your reputation, or what people say about your business, is also very important. Management must acknowledge the importance of each and work together to develop both.

Ideally you build a strong brand on the back of an organization with a credible reputation. A positive reputation attracts the best talent and stakeholder support necessary for a prosperous organization.


  1. Authenticity
    A strong brand is firmly based on an internal truth. It has a defined story and a well grounded value set. It will also deliver towards the high expectations that customers have of it.

  2. Relevance
    The connection with customer needs, desires, and decision criteria within your target audience and beyond.

  3. Differentiation
    The degree to which customers perceive the brand to have a differentiated proposition and brand experience.

  4. Consistency
    The degree to which a brand is experienced without fail across all touchpoints and platforms.

  5. Presence
    The degree to which a brand is talked about positively by customers in both traditional and social media.

  6. Engagement
    The degree to which customers show a deep understanding of, active participation in, and a strong sense of identification with, the brand.


A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest today are those that understand their customers and make bold moves that resonate and deliver in new and unexpected ways.

Brands that have withstood disruption and maintained industry relevance are those that have taken bold short-term risks because they have a clear long-term vision. They have a strategic plan detailing which direction to grow, and the transformational steps necessary to attain continued success.

Strong, design centric brands command a premium and Apple is a good example: Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, iMac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, Apple’s brand value: $215 billion.

Apple’s iconic branding strategy has always focused on emotion, brought to life by the forward-thinking creative visionary, Steve Jobs.

Apple have always positioned themselves as something different; they “Think different.” Unlike any other tech company, what their products actually do is not what really what brings in sales. Their consumers don’t think: “I want this because it’s a Dual-SIM, 64GB, 12-megapixel processing smartphone.” They think: “I want this because it’s an Apple iPhone.” By consistently delivering products with a refined aesthetic, Apple‘s brand has become associated with luxury in the eyes of its followers. And that is what many of its consumers are paying a premium for – a symbol of status that is driven by emotion, not practicality. This example backs up the evidence: when a high level of perceived quality has been created, raising the price of your products or services not only provides margin dollars but also aids perceptions.

Ultimately, good design will increase your company’s value, boost sales, and put your organization in a stronger financial position. By establishing trust, making strong visual and emotionally driven impressions, building customer relationships, and effectively marketing your brand, good design will help make your business more profitable.