Brand words decoded


What it actually means

Above the line (ATL)

Traditional paid advertising such as television, radio, print and out-of-home media (outdoor advertising). The main aim of ATL advertising is to build brand awareness with a broad (largely untargeted) reach.

Below the line (BTL)

Earned and owned marketing communications used for conversions and direct response, and targeting a particular audience through channels such as social media, public relations (PR), direct marketing, sales promotions, personal selling and sponsorship, brochures, leaflets etc.


A company logo (but not just a company logo).

It’s the ‘personality’ of the organisation conveyed through tone of voice, feel, colour palette and imagery, helping to cement a consumer’s relationship with the company.

Brand architecture

The structure of brands within brands.

In a similar way that iPhone and iMac are brands within Apple, our faculties are sub-brands and the University of Melbourne is the master brand. Brand architecture shows how sub and master brands are integrated for maximum advantage.

Brand awareness

Measures the effectiveness of a brand.

In other words, how readily a target market understands the brand and reacts instinctively and positively to it.

Brand equity

How a brand’s recognition, respect and popularity directly equates with the value of a company.

The greater the brand equity, the higher the value for an organisation.

Brand identity

The logo and visuals of a brand.

Also known as corporate identity or company identity, the logo is the graphical representation of a company across all marketing collaterals – for example business cards, brochures, letterheads, websites etc. It’s the visual representation of an organisation’s personality and includes the logo itself, as well as typography, colour palettes, messaging (such as mission statements and taglines), and collateral (such as business cards and PowerPoint templates).

Brand positioning

The distinctive position a brand adopts in the marketplace to ensure differentiation.

This distinctive position – describing the competitive and differentiating place the brand occupies in its market – helps people connect with and choose your brand over its competitors (direct and non-direct).

Brand proposition

The most inspiring and compelling information an organisation can convey about its brand to its audience.

It’s strong, concise, authentic and meaningful to people, and clearly outlines the benefit they get from the brand – one that no other brand can provide in the same way. It typically combines what a brand does exceptionally well with its aspirations for the future (sometimes used interchangeably with brand promise, brand statement and even brand purpose).

Brand value

The dollar premium resulting from customers’ commitment to a brand and their willingness to pay extra for it compared to a generic offering in the same category.

It represents the financial worth of the brand and demonstrates the value of the brand (or portfolio of brands) as part of a corporation’s intangible assets.

Brand voice/
Tone of Voice

A distinct way of speaking and communicating to make sure a brand is clearly heard, quickly recognised and easily remembered in today’s noisy marketplace.

It’s how a brand says what it says, closely aligned to a brand’s visual identity.

It shapes how a brand tells its story and how it engages in dialogue, from articulating the brand strategy through to every point of communication. It helps all authors of an organisation write in a manner consistent with its brand identity.


Describes organisations that sell to other businesses.

For example, research partnerships forged with the University of Melbourne or the custom-designed courses delivered to students in association with particular industries.



Describes organisations that sell directly to consumers.

For example, when the University of Melbourne offers courses to prospective students.


A text link, button, image, or web link that encourages a website visitor to act.

Examples includeSubscribe Now’, ‘Register’, ‘Download the Whitepaper’ etc. Important for marketers because they’re the bait that entices website visitors to become leads. The more enticing, intriguing, irresistible the call-to-action, the better likely visitor-to-lead conversions will ensue.


Cobranding is a marketing partnership between two or more different brands of goods or services.

Cobranding encompasses several different types of branding partnerships, including sponsorships typically associating the brands of two companies or more with a specific good or service.


Information provided to consumers and to be shared by them, in the form of advertising and web copy, blogs, videos, images, social media posts, photos, slideshows, podcasts etc.

Design system

A unified design system incorporating an organisation’s brand identity, written communications, voice and tone, brand and design elements.

A cohesive design, using a style guide as its cornerstone, specifies a common language and visuals to ensure that an organisation’s brand is instantly and readily understood.


The order of things.

In terms of what leads and what follows according to an organisation’s stated priorities: branding, brand architecture, product or business portfolios, organisational structures, consumer or customer needs.


Symbol that identifies a business, product, or organisation.

At its best, a logo fosters immediate recognition of a company and is used across all mediums, including print, business cards, websites, social media, sales collateral, presentations etc.

Logo lock up

One or more logos appearing together as one unit within a specified design.

For example, the product logo may always appear smaller, and below, the company logo. A logo lockup could also include a visual and wording that have individual status. In the University of Melbourne context this would be the ‘angel’ on the one hand, and ‘The University of Melbourne’ on the other.

Native advertising

Advertising that takes the form and function of the platform it appears on.

Its purpose is to make ads appear less like ads and looking and feeling similar to its editorial environment (as if it’s actually come from the platform it appears in). Native advertising can come in many forms, whether it's radio announcers talking favourably about a product sponsoring the show, or an article about a product or company showing up in your news source.

Through the line (TTL)

Integrated ATL and BTL marketing campaigns.

An integrated approach, where an organisation uses both Below the Line and Above the Line marketing methods to reach its customer base and generate conversions. This kind of marketing delivers wide reach while also focussing on conversions.


Helps identify the goods or services of one particular company and distinguish them from those of other companies.

Often used as a synonym for ‘brand’, a trademark can take many forms but most often is established or already exists as a name, a tagline or a logo. A trademark is proprietary and usually registered with the trademark office in every country it’s used in, giving its owner protection and legal rights.

Trademark infringement

The unauthorised use of a trademark by someone other than its owner.

Such infringement can cover the use of an exact name or logo, but also covers use of confusingly similar marks. Consequences can include an injunction, a lawsuit, damages, and legal fees, so thorough legal checks are critical in the development and choice of any name or logo for an organisation, product or service. It’s important to remember that actual consumer confusion is not required for infringement to happen – all it takes is for a likelihood of confusion to be demonstrated.


The way a company, product or service name is designed.

Sometimes referred to as a logotype, a wordmark typically incorporates a simple graphic treatment, such as a custom designed font or unusual rendering of letter forms to make it immediately identifiable and uniquely ownable. Obvious examples include Coca-Cola and IBM.

Word-of-mouth (WOM)

The passing of information from person to person.

Technically, it refers to oral communication, but these days it usually includes online communication as well. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but takes a lot of work and leveraging components such as product promotion, content marketing, and social media marketing.

If you have any questions or queries about using the brand, please contact the Brand team.