We believe that memory, and brand power, works something like this:

People think in categories. Test yourself on this. Quickly name brands of wrist watches. Most people can think of from 5 to 7. This is the average number of differentiated items we can hold in our memory box called "wrist watches." For one brand name to gain a place in this box, another must be knocked out - forgotten.

Branding is a function of time, money, and association.

Time: Of the 25 top consumer brands in 1927, 23 of them still are leaders. These brands include Jello, Ivory Soap, Band-Aid and other commonly recognized names. Once in the mind, a strong brand is hard to displace.

Money: These brands have equity. They are worth billions partly because of the millions consistently spent to keep them alive and profitable.

Association: The brand represents a consumer experience. Jello tastes good and is easy to make. Ivory Soap always smells the same. Band-Aids do their job reliably. The product consistently delivers the promise, and more. The result is consumer trust.

Another way to think about it is this: What is the most powerful form of advertising? It's word-of-mouth, of course - personal endorsement from a trusted individual.

In a similar way, a brand is shorthand for trust and value. Brands must be established with care and commitment. And they must be nurtured like a child, with consistency and devotion.

If your product or service delivers value, is priced right, and is accessible to enough people, marketing communications can be used to help build that same kind of trust and loyalty for your brand .