Brandless

What is at risk in not branding a startup?

July 15, 2020

Three things:

Be seen as a replaceable commodity.

Look and feel incoherent and unworthy of success.

Aimlessness. Without defining your purpose, vision, and mission, your actions will fall by the wayside.

Can you afford to be brandless?

More you say?

Before You Make a Logo

A frequently overlooked step that makes all the difference in creating a good logo.

1.21.2020

Gonna cut straight to the chase on this one: without a potent, different name for your startup, your logo will fall short of its true potential. I'll give you an example using two, famous companies.

Apple. Would the iconic, minimalist icon representing an apple ever exist had it not been for the name? No. That name gave them an advantage over their competitors trapped in acronym oblivion (IBM, HP) and inspired the mark.

Nike. Before the swoosh ever existed, Nike was extremely close to calling itself Blue Ribbon Sports. Compare that to Nike. Blue Ribbon sounds like the name for a freaking mom and pop bakery. There is no way something like the swoosh would have held its weight had it not been for the name it represents.

It seems prevalent that startup founders don't seem to consider the gravitas the name of their company holds. Think about it, when people say "word of mouth" advertising, what do they mean? They mean people repeat the name of the company they are referring to. Can you imagine how many times the name of a company (large or small) is used within six months? Thousands. Maybe even tens of thousands.

It's in your URL, it's on your social pages, it's on name tags, it's on email addresses, it's on all your marketing collateral, and it's on your tongue.

Get your name right before you jump into a logo or risk doing the whole thing over when you finally realize your name sucks. Your designer will thank you.

Here is my favorite book on naming:

Don't Call it That by Eli Altman.

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Defining Brand Personality | Software Branding

A framework to shape the look and feel of your brand.

1.18.2020

After assessing the values that are shared between your software and your ideal user, you can outline a personality for the brand to adorn. I've seen a bunch of variants for making this happen, but the one that has seemed to work the best was stolen from Jacob Cass at Just Creative. A bit of a twist at the end.

Plot your brand on each spectrum:

Brand Personality Slider
Thanks Jacob!

Next, and this step is important, define any attributes that are 3s. Clearly these are core attributes you want associated with your brand, but they mean something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?

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