Callosum Dictionary

When it feels like it’s an alphabet soup of acronyms, let us unwind the lexicon and unravel the jargon of the branding world. Click on the word below to expand the accordion and view the definition.


A representation a very recognizable, typical person, thing or idea. By anchoring a brand with an archetype, the consumer feels already familiar with the brand.

Aspirational positioning

A short phrase that declares where a company wants to position themselves among the competition.


The feature of a brand which leads to a consumer benefit.


The origin story of a brand that backs RTBs, resonates with the consumers and gives the brand character.

Below the fold

Website jargon that stems from newspaper terminology. When in the context of a website, it is the part below the opening screen, where the user has to scroll down to see information at the bottom.

Bottom up marketing

Marketing and advertising that are driven by customer experience, as opposed to a top-down strategy that is powered by management.

Bounce rate

The percentage of people who quickly leave a web page without interacting with it.


A particular combination of words, graphics, goals and character traits that is unique to a company, person, or entity, and provides differentiation from the competition. Over time, these points of differentiation become personal to consumers and a part of their own identities. It is more than the products or services that a company offers. The brand is the bond between the consumer and the company. A good brand will build emotional benefits and strengthen brand loyalty. It is a relationship, a conversation, a story.

Adam Morgan in Eating the Big Fish says a brand must fulfill four conditions:

  • Has a buyer and a seller
  • Has a differentiating name, symbol, or trademark
  • Has positive or negative opinions about it in the consumers’ minds
  • Is created, rather that naturally occurring
Brand alignment

The connection between the consumer desire and the brand strategy.

Brand Ambassador

An influencing representative hired by a brand to promote the brand image. This is someone who embodies the brand and engages with the target audience either online or in person. Ideally, this is every brand employee.

Brand Asset

Any beneficial aspect of a brand that builds strategic value.

Brand Audit

A thorough analysis of a brand and its competition to determine strengths, weaknesses, threats and potential areas of growth.

Brand Book

The document, whether online or a physical, that outlines the guidelines of style, strategy, and messaging for a brand.

Brand Brief
Brand Champion

An individual who protects, promotes, and embodies a brand. They are innovators and educators at the forefront of a brand who broaden awareness and advocate for a brand.

Brand Equity

The overall strength of a brand that is determined through profits and market share.

Brand Gap

The separation between a brand strategy and design, and customer experience.

Brand Manual

The guide book or “how-to” user manual for the brand community that outlines branding tools, identity, motivation, and other specifications for a brand.

Brand Story

A complete story that shows not only what a brand does, but also how they do it. It covers the identity, values, and personality of the brand. It is a point of differentiation that provides a foundation for a brand to build off. This is where many consumers find emotional benefits, and it serves as a tool to build brand personality.

Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy is a set of marketing and operational choices which position a company for long-term success. A brand strategy is more than a set of marketing deliverables. It’s the commitment to a business approach, which aligns all facets of an internal organization with what’s externally communicated. Key elements of a brand strategy include a purpose statement, positioning statement, brand essence, and messaging platform.

Brand Valuation

The measurement of the financial strength of a brand.

Call to Action

A stimulating phrase that calls people to achieve a goal. It can also be an attracting phrase that draws a consumer to buy products or interact with a brand.

Click-through Rate

The record of the clicks and responsiveness by users who access a web page via a hyperlink or advertisement.

Core Competencies

Advantages and benefits that a brand has to distinguish it from the competition. These are core to the brand and are not easily imitated by the competition.

Core Identity

The identifiable features, branding, and images of a brand that make up the identifiable brand essence. This includes the consumer facing foundation of a brand story and brand personality.

Creative Brief

The document that is written for internal use. It outlines the parameters of the brand, including the vision, goals, processes, deliverables, and any creative considerations. There are many additional sections that may be included, such as competition, industry trends, and other strategy work. This is the catalyst for creative work and the primary reference for the creative team.

Customer Persona

Presentation slides.

Target Market

The sector of the public that is the intended consumer of a brand.

Why Branding?

Early branding of a small or emerging company is key to business success. It is the quickest way for your company to express what it is and what it can offer. Inaccurate branding of a new business can make it difficult for people to grasp why the business exists in the first place.

Dollar for dollar, it [branding] is as important and vital as any other early steps.

For startups and small businesses, branding can often take a backseat to other considerations, such as funding and product development. This is a mistake, as a company’s brand can be key to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is as important and vital as any other early steps. A brand is a company’s face to the world. It is the company’s name, how that name is visually expressed through a logo, and how that name and logo are extended throughout an organization’s communications. A brand is also how the company is perceived by its customers – the associations and inherent value they place on your business.

A brand is a kind of promise. It is a set of  fundamental principles as understood by anyone who comes into contact with a company. A brand is an organization’s reason for being and how that reason is expressed through its various communications media to its key audiences, including customers, shareholders, employees and analysts. A brand can also describe these same attributes for a company’s products, services, and initiatives.

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Feed your brain with inspiration!

  • Brene Brown: Listening to Shame
  • Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
  • Sean Achor: The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance
  • Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
  • Craig Wortmann of Sales Engine: Three-time CEO, author of What’s Your Story, award-winning professor at the University of Chicago, and creator of the Sales Engine SM Toolkit.
  • Perfect Pitch App: Your two-minute business pitch is one of the most valuable tools a small business owner can use in growing their business. Small Business Perfect Pitch gives you the tools needed to help make your pitch work for you and get your small business growing! (Kudos to our affiliate Hilary Blair for developing this.)