I've been referred to as a "branding guy who hates the word 'branding.'" That's because it gets thrown around. A lot. And often by people who don't really understand it. Depending on the day and the person it might be used to refer to a logo or a pair of trademark glasses or the ability to get sponsors. Or whatever else happens to come up in conversation. But everyone is pretty much over-thinking it. Quite simply, your brand is what people think of when they think of you. That's it. It's what you represent in the minds of the audience. Nothing magical or technical about it. It isn't a typeface or a color or a tour sponsor. Those things can be part of a brand: they can represent it, be triggers for it or influence how people think and feel about it. And they can be really important tools. But the brand itself is nothing more than what your audience and potential audience thinks about you. So if reading this makes you think I'm a self-important opinionated jackass with a blog, welcome to your very own version of the BigHowdy brand. Thanks for dropping by. = )NOTE: Keep an eye out for the second and third parts of What The Hell Is A "Brand" Anyway? We'll talk about what it means that different people think different things about you as well as how a brand evolves over time.