"Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind."

Walter Landor (1913 – 1995), founder of the Landor brand consulting firm
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This Business English ESL lesson plan on brands has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

A company’s brand is its identity. The brand forges a certain affinity and relationship with the company’s customers. Brands instil trust and loyalty, but when the reputation of the brand is damaged, these relationships can fall apart. It is no surprise then, that companies invest millions into promoting and protecting their brand. In this Business English lesson plan on brands, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as what a brand is, and why it’s so important for businesses to create a good brand image.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.


Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

Indeed | What Is Brand Image? Definition, Importance and Examples

The article defines what brand image is and why it’s so important for businesses, including establishing credibility, making a good impression, and increasing referrals. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? Can they think of any ways they can add to the content of the article?

Video activity
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is a TEDx Talk by Jeff Freedman called “What’s your brand story?” which looks at how brands can tell a story that their customers want to be part of.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including the most famous brands in the world, how brands become famous, and why companies need a strong brand image.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with brands such as logo, brand loyalty and brand awareness. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about brands. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as their least favourite brands, whether premium brands are worth the extra money, and how to build brand loyalty.


After the class, students will write an executive summary on how to improve their company’s brand image. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.


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