Words of wisdom from the world’s greatest branding experts


Whether a business is new or old, small or large, the key factor that will make it stand out from the crowd is an effective brand.

Branding not only lets customers know who you are but, done correctly, can also communicate what you as a company promise to offer. Be that convenience, luxury or an aspirational lifestyle, your brand is ultimately the lasting impression customers will be left with.

Here are 20 of the most thought-provoking quotes from experts and top CEOs to help inspire you to take your business to new branding heights.

David Brier, branding and brand identity expert and author of Brand Intervention

“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.”

Seth Godin, marketing and leadership expert

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Jeff Bezos, Founder and Executive Chair of Amazon

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

Jonah Sachs, entrepreneur and author of Winning the Story Wars

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints.”

Jim Mullen, Scottish businessman and CEO of the publisher Reach plc

“Of all the things that your company owns, brands are far and away the most important and the toughest. Founders die. Factories burn down. Machinery wears out. Inventories get depleted. Technology becomes obsolete. Brand loyalty is the only sound foundation on which business leaders can build enduring, profitable growth.”

Lisa Gansky, American entrepreneur and author

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.”

Warren Buffett, American investor and philanthropist

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Alina Wheeler, branding expert and author of Designing Brand Identity

“Brand identity fuels recognition, amplifies differentiation and makes big ideas and meaning accessible. Brands are messengers of trust. Customers are reassured by brands that are recognisable and familiar. Great brand strategy is a basic building block of good business strategy.”

Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Brands should think of themselves not as storytellers but storybuilders. We plant seeds of content and let our community build on it.”

Jessica Walsh, Co-Founder of design agency Sagmeister & Walsh

“If no-one hates it, no-one really loves it.”

Scott Cook, Co-Founder of software company Intuit

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual reinvention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.”

Laura Busche, author and branding expert

“Positioning is finding the right parking space inside the consumer’s mind and going for it before someone else takes it.”

Tamara McCleary, CEO of digital marketing agency Thulium

“Building a brand means knowing your story and building and sharing that story.”

Ian P Buckingham, leadership coach and author of Brand Champions

“Brands are built from within … [they] have very little to do with promises made through advertising. They’re all about promises met by employees.”

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”

Ashley Friedlein, Founder and CEO of technology company Guild

“Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organisation. Branding is about shaping that perception.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and branding expert

“It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.”

Read next: Maserati CEO reveals your company’s most underrated marketing weapon

Leave a Comment