Brand building is about taking the depth of an idea and translating it into something that can resonate with another person.
Nike has depth. It has approached a topic for decades and still hasn’t exhausted its conversation.
It is a conversation about human potential and action.
They try and sum it up; “Just do it.”
The job of marketing Nike is to tell that story in a new way so that it can impact people in a new way. They pioneered Brand deals with athletes, which brought new characters to the conversation…and our fascination with them grew.
Apple has depth. Steve Jobs and his team had, and continue to have a never-ending quest.
A brand is about a quest for Truth you can’t quite put into words. You do, of course, but nothing ever comes close to its essence.
Apple has an essence. And their products are merely an expression of that essence. Their team has a culture. Their products have an opinion. But all of it is centered in a deep story, one that is powerful enough to bring everyone together, bring buyers to their stores, and continue the search for the ultimate expression.
In a way, building a brand is like discovering your life’s purpose.
Patagonia is Yvon Chouinard's inner workings and obsessions. Which are deeply complex and deeply simple. Teams, of course, build companies. But these teams are spreading a message they believe in. They are in service to the brand, to the core truth, and they help the brand come to life. Without the team involved there would be no grand stage for the Brand and it’s values to live on.
The reason I work with founders and artists is that there is no greater vehicle for self-growth than creation.
Because their creation is an expression of their life quest.
Their creation is both the question, and the answer to why they are here.
We all have a brand.
The clarity of that being true lies in how transparent you’ve made your purpose to the world.
Some have just decided to make it more legible to others.
And how do you make it more legible to others?
Which is a similar question to "How do you create a Brand?"
Through focus and removal of what isn’t you, so that what is can become apparent.
By giving effort to the few questions that drive you most, and translating your answers to those questions into creative action.
And by continuing to lead the conversation you believe in.