Branding begins with P. "Pranding?" (No, not like that)
  1. Passion.
    First, you need heart. People want to be affected. They are drawn to fire. If you aren't consumed by your project, no one else will be. Love, however, is infectious. It's also undeniable.
  2. Personality.
    The further the Internet separates us, the deeper we long for connection. Brand is analagous to human identity. The best brands are honest, consistent, and reliable. Exactly what you look for in a best friend. The truer you remain to yourself through your brand - warts and all -, the stronger it gets. Because it gets unique. Another best friend trait.
  3. Patience.
    When I say Patience, what I really mean is Discipline. The discernment to say No (Branding is truly just about how much you can say "No"). Great brands take time. They require thoughtful and deliberate moves. And stop looking around. It's only unfair if you compare. You're the tortoise here, running your own race. Slow and steady.
  4. Paucity.
    Scarcity. Everybody wants what they can't have. It's classic Supply & Demand. Remember what I said about Branding just being about how much - and how long - you can say No? An old friend at Nike told me early on, "You gotta just feed 'em enough to keep them hungry."
  5. Purity.
    Effective branding starts with authenticity and transparency. You can't fake the funk here. Own your strengths and weaknesses, and capitalize on both to set you apart. I like to say "Stay True, but Don't Stay Put." Be mindful of industry trends and cultural climate - and by all means, stay informed, - but, water your roots. Just remember: Every move you make is either edifying or eroding your brand. The typeset of your logo. The glasses you wear. The charity you support. They all speak of you.