Brand Basics: Head, Heart & Guts


Brand can be one of those complex concepts that eludes. As a marketing professional, I’ve attempted to explain brand and its impact on business only to be faced by blank stares, laughs or dismissal.

It’s only been the last few years that I’ve successfully condensed these complexities and generated what might be a good summary for those who aren’t generally concerned with brand.

Those who aren’t concerned with brand tend to be everyone who’s not in marketing.

It’s not so difficult to understand why sales, accounting and other departments never quite embrace brand. Too often, the marketing department blames, credits or otherwise uses the concept of brand.

Brand can become a solid concept if explained in a concrete way. I use the human form (seen above) to best explain. It’s a sequential process.

  1. Head: Recognize a brand for what it is.
  2. Heart: Have a feeling in response to that recognition.
  3. Guts: React to the feeling.

Below is an example of Coca-Cola in the most simple form:


Of course, Coca-Cola (and its many, many brands and products) can be more complex and nuanced.

Understanding these basics of brand helps build a bridge between marketing and other departments.

Published by

Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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