Bad Names = Bad Identities

The one thing you need to clear up before you start working on a visual identity.

October 13, 2020

The Nike swoosh, the Apple apple, the Target bullseye. All of these logos are recognizable in an instant and yes, it took a while for them to get there, but there is a common thread between them oft-overlooked in the success of their brand identities:

They have good names.

Since the name of a brand is further up in the headwaters than the logo, it makes sense that a crappy name will hinder the success of the visual identity. Don't believe me? Well, let's try these with different monikers.

Nike -> Elegant Running Solutions.
A swoosh would not fare well under this.

Apple -> Creative Computers, Inc.
Why the hell is the logo an apple?

Target -> Minneapolis Market (Target started in this city)
The bullseye loses all gusto.

You get the picture. Brand identities, just like people's identities include a lot from the name. Why do you think authors and screenwriters obsess over the names of these characters they create? It matters and there is an emotional value to the name of a company.

If you don't nail your name and have it aligned with the emotional value you want to manifest within your audience, your identity as a whole will suffer. How do you do that?

Define your brand.

More you say?

I'm Bleeding

Self-diagnosing your startup's branding problems.

7.28.2020

It's easy to notice when you've cut yourself in the kitchen or by scratching against something you didn't intend to. You know it happened because blood starting to pour out from the place of the interaction. It's easy.

What happens when you start bleeding and you don't know why? Or when there is another form of pain in your body that isn't normal and unprecedented? You have a couple options: you could self-diagnose and hope your assumptions turn out ok, or you could go to the doctor and get a professional consultation. Surface-level problems are easy, deep problems are harder to spot and infinitely more costly.

Branding problems are rarely surface level, like a scratch or cut from a chef's knife. Branding problems are ethereal and hard to decipher, even harder to connect to the surface-level symptoms they produce. In the same way a doctor, who has run into medical problems for years and is trained to ask targeted questions, branding experts use experience and training to unearth the real problem.

Now I can hear you saying, "I know a good logo when I see one," congratulations. You still aren't sure why yours sucks and how to fix it. Shit, if asked, it's unlikely that you can even define branding in a succinct, easy-to-understand way. It takes courage to admit that. The same courage that admits you aren't a sushi chef, auto mechanic, or plumber, it's just not something you've taken the time to gain expertise in.

Back to our initial analogy, "I'm bleeding." Don't be surprised if the branding issue is deeper than what's on the surface. Cuts go deep, sometimes you can't even see them, thoughnthey are tearing your insides apart. Be it in the form of harsh rejections from investors, feeling like your company is without purpose, or doubting the integrity of this company that you have spent days, even years trying to grow. Bravely look inward and tend to your wounds, and if you're having trouble finding the cause, ask for help.

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Cambio Falso

Why staying in place is your worst choice.

3.11.2020

You cannot expect things to change without making a change yourself. Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Why the title "Cambio Falso?" I've been watching Narcos, so Spanish is on my mind. It translates to "false change." Meaning, a benign attempt that yields little progression, a band-aid to cure cancer.

The point? Dive deep. Look the ugly of your company in the face and decide to make a freaking change, a real change. One that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you fail, you're no better off than where you are now.

Cambio cierto.

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