Brand & Marketing Dictionary

Brand Execution
Brand Identity

January 22, 2024

Brand & Marketing Dictionary

Brand Execution
Brand Identity
We get it. Industry jargon can be very confusing.

Every industry has very specific terms in their vernacular that you may not be familiar with. No matter if you are confused about an acronym or a specific term, being confused can be very frustrating. We never want our partner or team to feel frustrated so know that you can always ask our team what something means. But, if you’ve ever wondered what a certain brand or marketing term means read on for our go-to brand and marketing dictionary.

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Brand & Marketing Dictionary

Brand Execution
Brand Identity
We get it. Industry jargon can be very confusing.

Every industry has very specific terms in their vernacular that you may not be familiar with. No matter if you are confused about an acronym or a specific term, being confused can be very frustrating. We never want our partner or team to feel frustrated so know that you can always ask our team what something means. But, if you’ve ever wondered what a certain brand or marketing term means read on for our go-to brand and marketing dictionary.


-      A/B Test: A controlled randomized test, survey, or poll of two concepts to figure out which option works best. 

-      Accessibility: This is when a design considers how all sorts of people are interacting with a design. For example, easily opened packaging or high-contrast text on a website.

-      Advertising: The textbook definition is the public promotion of something. It is typically what people think of marketing, Mad Men style. When used properly a very useful tool to build brand awareness.

-      Aesthetics: The specific vibe of how people perceive your brand. 

-      (Brand) Architecture: The roadmap to communicate internally and externally how brands work together and/or stand-alone. Explore Brand Architecture and Why it Matters.


-      Brand: In its dictionary term, everything that your business does that a customer can experience.

-      Branding: This is how someone will experience your brand. This is what we do. 

-      Brand Board: A collection of example images, references, and executions of a brand. 

-      Brand Gap: What you think you do versus what your customers think you do. 

-      Business Set (Biz Set): Collateral that aids in the launch of your brand like business cards, email signatures, invoice header, folders, etc.  


-      Campaign: A set of activities (like ads, events, product releases, SEO, etc.) that have the same overarching messaging to achieve a certain goal. 

-      Consistency: The key to a brand’s success.  

-      Content Marketing: Content your team makes to cultivate interest in your brand. This can range from blogs, social content, or even Spotify’s anticipated yearly Wrapped.

-      Conversion Rates: Quite literally, this is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. Having a strategic brand makes it easy for people to describe and recommend your brand to others, thus helping to increase conversion rates (i.e. fueling your success).

-      Copy: To quote the Bard himself, Shakespeare, “words words words.” In our business, any text written for marketing purposes (like this) can be called “copy.” 


-      Deboss: A stamp on a design that is indented.

-      Dieline: Packaging cutting template. Also one of our favorite packaging inspiration blogs.  


-      Earned Media: Coverage from an outside source, commonly paired with PR. So if a news channel picks up a story about your team, that would be earned media. Same with any reviews on sites like Yelp. 

-      Emboss: a stamp that pushes out on a design (like a leather portfolio or a business card) 

-      Environmental Branding: How a space feels in line with your brand. This includes everything from your interior design, how the space smells, wayfinding, and even what music is playing. Read more about Why Pairing Interior Design with Your Brand Matters.

-      Exclusion Zone: Let the logo breathe, the area around the logo which remain free from other copy or objects to ensure that the logo is not obscured. 


-      Favicon: A tiny version of your logo. Most typically the small logo on the tab of your website in a browser window. 

-      Fonts: A specific style of a typeface, such as ‘Helvetica Bold'


-      Gradient: A gradual blending of colors. Starting in 2020 this use of color has been pretty trendy. 


-      Hardy Brands: Hey, that’s us! Our team of strategists, storytellers, thinkers, crafters, creators, and spreadsheet-lovers, is united around the power of branding. If we sound like a good fit for your team, call us, maybe?

-      Hex Code: For digital purposes, a six-digit color code. 

-      Hierarchy: How things are organized to communicate the level of importance. In the Hardy Brand Logo, "Hardy” has a higher importance with “Brands” acting as a subtag. 


-      (Brand) Identity: What brings businesses to life. Think about the way that you present yourself to the world. The clothes you wear. Your haircut. Your sense of humor. Read more about what makes up Brand Identity. 

-      Identity Set: This is not just a set of logos, that’s a logo set. This term is referring to the system that includes colors, fonts, illustrations, materials, and more which when used consistently will improve your reputation. 


-      Justified: How text or an image is aligned to an invisible line (right-justified, left-justified, center-justified). 


-      Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A very businessy term referring to the metrics you can use to measure success. For example, employee turnover rate, NPS, and click-through rate.


-      Logo: A part of a brand but not a brand. Learn more here. 

-      Lorem Ipsum: Inspired by Cicero, this is the term for nonsensical passages used for placeholder copy. The following is part of a common passage: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”



-      Marketing: A component of brand execution, it’s the activity of spreading the word about your business to create awareness, attract new customers, make more money, or achieve another goal that you have defined. Learn how a Branding Agency Partners with your Marketing Team. 

-      Margins: The distance between the edge of a page and copy and/or images.

-      Mission: The ways that a purpose will be achieved. 

-      Mood board: A collage of images, fonts, logo examples, colors, etc. that embody a vibe. 


-      Net Promoter Score (NPS): A score used for gauging customers’ overall satisfaction and loyalty to a brand. Like your yearly check-up, we recommend annually measuring your NPS at the minimum. (Note: Saying “NPS Score” is redundant, equivalent to “ATM Machine”) 


-      Owned Media: Any digital assets which your brand controls, for example, your website, social channels, a podcast you host, etc. 


-      Perception: How the public views your brand

-      Personas: Your people. This is a tool to describe and identify about 80% of your clientele. We think of them as real people and how they engage with a brand. 

-      (Brand) Pillars: If a brand is a tent, your brand pillars are the poles that hold it up. They are adjectives that embody your brand and should be represented in everything you’re doing. 

-      Photo Direction: Guidelines on how your brand should look through photography 

-      (Brand) Positioning: How your brand will be differentiated in your market 

-      Press/ Press Ready: When something is ready to be sent to a vendor. The item has been thoroughly proofed and approved by our client. 

-      Process: Our second favorite word behind “Brand.” This is the flow of how we run all of our projects. By having a defined process, our team consistently creates work that we take pride in. 

-      Purpose: Why a brand exists, other than making money. 


-      QR Code: Also known as “Quick Response Code.” These unique codes store A LOT of information. When you scan them, usually with your phone, the data, like a URL or PDF, becomes accessible. 


-      Raster: A graphic made up of many small squares called pixels, kind of like paint by numbers. Not infinitely scalable. Raster files are JPEGs and PNGs. 

-      Rebrand: A complete overhaul of an existing brand. Think of Facebook’s evolution into Meta or Armstrong Marketing Solutions to Hardy Brands. 

-      (Brand) Refresh: When a brand is more subtly updated. This past year we found inspiration from JKRGlobal and their refresh of Burger King


-      Sans Serif: “Sans” means without, so quite literally this means “without serifs” (see “serif’s definition below). These fonts often look more modern. The body of this blog is written in a sans-serif font. 

-      Serif: Fonts with little dashes or embellishments on them. Often these fonts look very classic like Times New Roman.  

-      Spot Gloss (Spot UV): The shiny material on certain areas of a printed piece, like packaging or a business card.

-      Storyboard: A step in the concepting phase, this is a graphic representation made up of photos or illustrations that helps you visualize a video. 

-      Style Tiles: A part of our logo exploration process that shows how marks work with a chosen mood board. 

-      Survey: Ice Cube once said, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” We accomplish just this with surveys. Talking to customers and employees defines public perception and sentiment. 


-      Tagline: A short phrase that captures a brand's big idea and personality and distinguishes it from its competitors.

-      Target Market: Just a way to group all of your personas. 

-      Tertiary: Often used to describe a third version of your logo. 

-      Tone: How you communicate within your brand’s voice. For example, both “Humble” and “Haughty” work with the voice “Intelligent,” but you get very different meanings. 

-      True Line: At the end of the day, this is the truest statement that encompasses your brand. 

-      Typography: How your different typefaces are formatted. 

-      Typefaces: A typeface is a particular set of glyphs (an alphabet and its accessories) that share a common design, such as ‘Helvetica.’


-      UX (User Experience): The term that encompasses all aspects of your customer’s interactions with your brand. This typically refers to how someone interacts with a website but can range everywhere from your services, packaging design, and customer service. 


-      Value Proposition: What a brand does and why it matters to customers.

-      Vector: Based on a mathematical equation, these graphics are infinitely scalable. Vector files include SVGs, EPS, and PDFs. 

-      Vibe: The intangible feel of your brand. 

-      Vision: The goal of succeeding in your purpose. 

-      Voice: A brand's voice is like an instrument, and the tone is how the instrument is played. For example, if the “voice” is a saxophone, the “tone” of that saxophone could be jazzy, smooth, sultry, etc.


-      Wayfinding: Signage, maps, and informational pieces that help people navigate through a physical space.  

-      Wireframe: A detailed outline of a website or printed piece that usually includes Lorem Ipsum and placeholder images.

-      Workbook: The kicking-off point for our Brand Strategy process. We embody our inner five-year-old self to ask you “why” as we dive deep into your brand. 


-      X-Factor: No, not the TV show. In brand strategy, this is what makes your brand unique. 


-      Yellow: Yes, the color. Yellow is a fundamental part of CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) which is a key to printing.  


-      Zhuzh: A very official term to describe “making something look a bit nicer.” 

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About Us

Like our work, the Hardy Brands team is an embodiment of the perfect balance of strategy and creative. We’ve cultivated a team of certified brand specialists and strategists, designers, copywriters and marketing professionals who are ferocious about helping you succeed. We’re a Montana marketing agency that will constantly strive to improve your business.

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Our Work

As a branding, marketing and design agency, we partner with all types of businesses, from restaurants and breweries to building and real estate professionals, nonprofits to accountants and many others. Get a better idea of who we are and what we do by visiting our Work page.

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