What is a brand?

In my younger and dumber days, I thought a brand was a logo and a set of fonts and colours.

Those are only part of a brand, and in my opinion they are very much secondary to the other aspects of brand.

Brand is:

  • a feeling
  • a story
  • character
  • values
  • drivers

And all of those are expressed through 2 things, which I don’t believe can be considered separately:

  1. a voice
  2. a visual persona/palette/conversation

To figure out what kind of voice your brand needs to have and how your brand should look, you need to know your tribe.

Who do you want to connect to?


When your brand speaks to your tribe, it has to use the words, metaphors, jokes, and slang/jargon your tribe speaks.

When your brand is visibly in front of your tribe they have to see people like them. Humans. With emotions and experiences who align explicitly with the brand voice.

So if you’re building a brand or your brand needs to be refreshed, stop thinking about you. Stop thinking about brand stories and logos and fonts and colours. Think about your tribe. Listen to the way they speak, the way they dress, the places they go.

Make sure your brand lives and breathes what your tribe lives and breathes. Everything else will follow.