If George Carlin were still alive, he'd be having a field day with the word "brand."

You can brand this, or brand that.

My company has a brand; do you have a personal brand?

They have a weak brand, but at least it's not a bad brand. You can have a good brand, but it doesn't mean it's a strong brand.

We used to only brand horses, but now every animal has its own brand.

There are noun brands like a dog; name brands like Target; and nefarious brands like Enron.

Brand is now a verb and a modifier. You can't just have a story anymore. You have to have a brand story. Marketers tell clients they are integrating the brand narrative to create a better brand reputation, and creating branded content to help with brand recognition.

We deliver on our brand promise, and we promise you'll never have a bad brand experience.

It's no longer enough for your company to just have equity. You have to have brand equity, or else your brand will become bankrupt, even if your company is making money.

At all costs, we want to avoid being branded as a cautionary tale because that means the company didn't stick around...unless it had a brand refresh or repositioned its brand.

You want to be the Cadillac of brands in your industry, but the old Cadillac brand, not the new Cadillac brand, unless you're talking about the Escalade, which is Cadillac's hip-hop brand.

You want your brand to be true to your customers, and you always want to humanize your brand so customers exhibit brand loyalty.

A brand should have its own five senses. Your brand is driven by its vision, but it has to listen to its audience. Brands have to have multiple touch points while you can taste this brand's distinctiveness and smell the money made by that brand.

Every brand has to have a core because you don't want your brand promise to be hollow. Without brand character, your customers can't establish an emotional link to the brand personality, which is required for brand satisfaction.

If you're an off-brand, chances are you weren't a distinctive brand, but now you're a value brand. But even though value is a positive brand, by no means do you ever want anyone to refer to you as the K-Mart of brands.

Brands now have the power to alter people's perceptions. If you change the trajectory of the value curve, and if you own the white space, you can become the grand dame of brands.

Your brand can get trashed or rise like a vertical brand...if it has a robust brand platform underneath it. Brands can't ever afford to be seen as indifferent so we must leverage the brand as long as we don't expose the brand.

If you're popular on social media, you can get paid to be a brand ambassador, even if you're stateless. Willie Nelson pioneered the outlaw brand by experiencing brand nirvana before and after every show.

If all of this confuses you, attend a brand therapy session to figure out if you're a functional brand, image brand or self-expressive brand so you can emerge brand new.

CleanTech Focus