Brands Must Stand For Something

Brad VanAuken The Blake ProjectDecember 27, 20102 min

Brands that stand for something that connects with customers on an emotional level. Does your brand scream status? Does it value generosity? Is it elegant and refined? Does it care about the environment? Is it a rugged brand? Does it support family values? Does it love the outdoors? Does it cater to children? Is it open minded and progressive? Is it a brand for achievers? Does it believe in survival of the fittest? Does it scream creativity? Is it non-conventional? Is it rebellious? Is it fun loving? Is it naughty? Or is it nice?

People connect emotionally with brands that stand for things that are important to them. They become loyal to those brands and they become advocates for those brands. They also often use those brands as a way to say, “This is what I stand for.” That is, people use brands to express themselves.

Organizations that work with their customers to further common values become almost like trusted friends to those customers.

The Blake Project works with brands to help them identify their values and their personalities and their character and their archetypes. For instance, a brand whose archetype is Healer heals or attempts to heal or restore others to full health. A brand whose archetype is Achiever is driven by accomplishment, while one whose archetype is Guide is driven by helping others navigate through obstacles to particular destinations. Archetypes identify the underlying motivations of the organization.

It is well worth the time and effort to determine what your organization stands for, what it values, how it behaves and what motivates it to behave in those ways.  Then it is important to systematically reinforce and communicate those values inside and outside of the organization.

The Blake Project Can Help: Accelerate Brand Growth Through Powerful Emotional Connections

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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Brad VanAuken The Blake Project


  • Dan T.

    December 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Great post. Branding doesn’t work unless people inside and outside of the organization believe in the core message. Many times the heads of the entity itself are not even sure what that message is. You can’t move forward until you understand where you are.

  • Timothy Maina (

    March 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    It’s always a delight reading articles from professionals that truly get it! I find it inspiring!

    You have managed to pack so many principles of effective branding in a short, concise article- Brand Archetypes, Purpose, Emotional connection, Brand Personalities, Strategic Communication and how to effectively put all of them together. So awesome!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Brad, very much appreciated!

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