A well-informed employee is the best salesperson a company can have. E. J. Thomas


Harvesting is when sales of a brand begin to decline and companies slowly reduce their marketing investment, either to nothing, or to a bare minimum. These companies depend on the brand’s loyal customers to sustain it while they free up cash to pursue other opportunities. Brand harvesting usually precedes a brand’s total elimination.


Jargon is using complicated terms instead of their simple common-use equivalents, and
marketers are as guilty of using jargon as anyone. Typically, people using jargon are either
trying too hard to sound knowledgeable, or trying to increase their own perceived competence by confusing others.


An Interbrand proprietary research tool providing decision support for potential brand name and tagline candidates. Each potential brand name is evaluated using specific criteria, including pronunciation, imagery and personality associations, name acceptability as well as “fit” with brand concept and more. There are both quantifiable and qualitative aspects within Nometrics.

Packaged Goods

Packaged Goods
These are products that are packaged by their manufacturer; they typically carry a low unit price, are distributed through food and drug stores, are heavily promoted (usually in mass media), and are bought and consumed frequently (toothpaste, for example).

Service Brand/Marketing

The service sector of the business world deals with marketing and selling intangible products instead of physical goods. Nail salons, travel agencies, insurance companies, lawyers, and so on are in the service sector, and what they sell requires branding and marketing just as tangible products do.

Portfolio Analysis

This is a strategic planning tool that helps determine marketing strategy. It evaluates a product’s growth rate and relative market share, and compares it with the other products and services in a portfolio. The outcome objective is to see which products are performing well and should be continued, and which are underperforming and should be discontinued.


These are products that consumers view as alternatives for other products. Consumer motivation to try a substitute can be driven by cost, health, or environmental concerns, and/or by social trends. As examples: sugar versus artificial sweeteners, eyeglasses versus contact lenses, plastic containers versus glass, aspirin versus other types of pain relievers. Substitutes have an obvious effect on brand loyalty and become real threats when products of firms in other industries enter a market.


Someone or something that breaks a traditional mold or routine and gains a following because of that action. iMac is an example of trendsetting in design as office supplies now come in the familiar colors and translucent packaging of an iMac.

Value Proposition

A (brand) value proposition is a short, clear, simple statement containing the main reasons for choosing one brand over another. It includes what the target market is for a particular product, what key benefits will be delivered, and how much will be charged. It provides the rationale (tangible and intangible) for choosing one brand over another.

Flanker Brand

This is a product introduced by a company into a market in which it is already established. The intent of a flanker brand is to increase overall market share in a particular category and aggressively crowd out the competition.

Intellectual Assets

These are non-physical business assets that can include expertise, knowledge, patents, research and development programs, and knowledge-management systems.

Messaging Matrix

A proprietary Interbrand construct which identifies the key audiences for a brand that can act as influencers of larger segments. Those influencers are prioritized based on the brand’s objectives and mapped against specific communications that support the overall brand position, yet, appeal to the relevant wants and needs of the audience. A brand cannot be everything to everyone but it must have something for everyone – the messaging matrix is a communications tool that helps articulate that distinction.

Umbrella Brand

An umbrella brand is a parent brand that appears on a number of products that may
each have separate identities. A strong umbrella brand can help a new product
generate revenue because of quality and benefit associations. Individual branding, on the
other hand, requires expensive advertising campaigns and extensive brand-building costs.

Verbal Identity

This is the way a brand communicates in words its name, its advertising and taglines, its marketing communications, its website copy, and the descriptions on its packaging.

Above-the-line Communications

This term refers to marketing communications involving the purchase of traditional media such as television, radio, print, and outdoors; media in which results can be measured. As marketing and communications options have expanded, and advertising agency compensation has moved from commission-based to fee-based, this term has become increasingly dated and now reflects what traditional advertising agencies included in their base commission rate rather than what impact the media would have had on customers.