Not Every Product Is A Brand

Date Published
April 13, 2023

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Not Every Product Is A Brand

“Within every brand is a product, but not every product is a brand.” -David Ogilvy

A product can be defined as a tangible or intangible item that can be bought or sold. It can be something as simple as a physical item like a pencil or as complex as a software program. While a product can be of high quality, innovative, or useful, it does not necessarily make it a brand.

A brand, on the other hand, is more than just a product. It is a collection of characteristics and attributes that differentiate it from its competitors. A brand encompasses the perception that consumers have about a product or company, including its reputation, image, and values.


In other words, a brand is the emotional connection that consumers have with a product or company. It is the intangible essence that defines a product's unique selling proposition and sets it apart from its competitors.

While every brand has a product, not every product can be considered a brand. A product becomes a brand only when it has established a unique identity and created an emotional connection with its consumers.

In the early days of advertising, it was all about the product. Talking up a product was good and hence truth to saying form follows function. Advertising would tell you what the product did and you would either need that thing or you wouldn’t need that thing. Simple. Clear. Effective. Nowadays “product” is a dirty word, in fact no products exist, only brands exist. We need to invent a brand purpose for the existing product turning it into a brand so people would buy because people would only buy brands and not products.

Yet, in a twisted kind of way, people still buy products, if we (marketers) let them and get out of the way. People still buy products because products deliver results. Humans have always wanted quick and effective solutions to their problems, and they will remain wanting that, way into the foreseeable future.

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