Defining Brand: What Tangled Webs We Weave

At Chromium, we define “brand” as a network of experiences woven together to form a persistent, singular concept. It’s like the delicate senses of a spider’s web: Every intersection on the web is a memory—a sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling that is associated with a particular brand. When woven together, a touch on any part of that web is transmitted across the network, and the concept of the brand instantly pops out, like the spider that senses when a bug has been ensnared. When well managed, the brand can become the most important asset your company owns.

Quo vs. Innovator

Furthermore, we categorize brands in one of two ways: “Quo Brands” and “Innovator Brands.” Quo Brands are led by individuals who are resistant to change or simply don’t understand that they need to change. They talk about the “good old days,” decline to invest in brand and culture strategy, don’t offer prospective employees a good reason to want to work there, see revenue slipping or become stagnant, and so on. It’s malaise and milquetoast. These are firms who may be among the walking dead, but may not realize it yet.

Innovator Brands are the opposite: vibrant, growing, and exciting places to work because their authentic and shared core values guide employee behavior. They encourage risk-taking to learn new ways to develop and market things. They attract new customers. They have raving fans. They can command premium pricing. They’re market leaders, or on their way to leading. We could go on and on and on about how we feel about Innovators, but we’ll stop there.