The Glossary

A comprehensive brand marketing glossary where we define all those industry buzzwords. To submit new ideas or suggest an edit, shoot us a note.

AOV - average order value. How much a customer spends on average each time they buy.

Brand Identity - brand designers or brand stylists create the visual expression of a brand. To ensure consistency and reduce back and forth, engage a brand designer only after you've worked with a brand strategist to hone in on your communication guidelines and guiding principles. Based on your brand strategy work, a brand designer will create a cohesive visual style guide to bring your brand to life. Brand identity design is the creative process of building a brand, it consists of tangible elements like moodboard, logos, fonts, color schemes etc.

Brand Strategy - brand strategists transforms a brand from being a commodity to resonating on an emotional level through verbal expression. Brand strategy is the disciplined process of building a compelling and cohesive brand through consistency, positioning, storytelling, and content. The key difference between a brand strategy and marketing is brand strategy focuses on the macro, long-term view of your brand. Marketing focuses on micro, short-term tactics.

CAC/CPA - customer acquisition cost or cost per acquisition. How much it costs in advertising spend, referral spend, etc. to get a new customer. 

- cost of goods sold. The cost not just of buying/manufacturing some item but also all the associated variable costs of selling it like storing, packaging, and shipping it.

Community Management - this is about engaging with your audience beyond your social media publishing. It’s part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being active in discussions that relate to your brand.

Contribution Margin - the amount of revenue after accounting for CoGS.

Digitally Native Vertical Brand (DNVB) - refers to highly customer-centric brands born on the internet aimed at millennials and digital natives. These brands inspire their customers, speak to them, shape their choices, and have a sharp understanding of modern economics and growth trajectories. (via Bonobos' founder Andy Dunn)

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC/D2C) - refers to selling a product or service directly to end customers without third-party retailers, wholesalers, or other middlemen.

Earned Media Value - also known as EMV, is the metric for quantifying the estimated value of consumer engagement with digital earned media. It assigns a unique value to a piece of content based on the engagement received from followers and consumers. This value is then attributed to the specific brands mentioned within the post. EMV can be used to evaluate the earned performance of individual marketing campaigns and benchmark brands within the competitive landscape. (defined by Tribe Dynamics)

LTV lifetime value (sometimes CLTV for customer lifetime value). The total amount of money a customer spends over all their purchases: AOV x number of purchases.

Payback Period - the amount of time or number of purchases until you’ve paid back your CPA.

Public Relations - this is the art of communicating a business or brand’s messages to the consumers they hope to reach, impact and influence. The primary role of a publicist is to work with a brand to decide what those messages will be, how they will be delivered, who will deliver them, what platform to use, and how to deeply engage with this targeted niche audience in a meaningful way.

Social Media Marketing - the production and distribution of social content to reach new customers and communicate with your current ones. Here, you might be focused on things like reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to your site.

Macro-Influencers - established brand ambassadors with 300k to 1M followers on their primary channel. Ambassadors with 1M+ followers are known as powerhouse or celebrity influencers.

Martech - the blending of marketing and technology. Virtually anyone involved with digital marketing is dealing with martech, since digital by its very nature is technologically-based. The term “martech” especially applies to major initiatives, efforts and tools that harness technology to achieve marketing goals and objectives. (defined by MarTech Today)

Micro-Influencer - emerging, up-and-coming brand ambassadors with fewer than 100k followers on their primary channel.

Mission - describes the purpose of your organization and how you’ll achieve that purpose. For example, Patagonia’s mission statement is “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” 

Vision - an aspirational statement that outlines your long-term objectives and goals over time. For example, Patagonia’s vision statement is “We’re in business to save our home planet.”

Values - your values are your guiding principles—that which matters most to you—that drive every aspect of your business. It’s your moral compass and core and gives you and your employees a sense of purpose and direction. For example, Patagonia’s stated values are the following: 1) Build the best product. 2) Cause no unnecessary harm. 3) Use business to protect nature. 4) Not be bound by convention.