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You’re only as strong as your weakest brand

Brand is our belief, our ability to imagine what a company stands for and how that resonates with our own ideas of who we are and what we need.


From eight years working in agencies I ended up thinking a lot about the struggle of managing an agencies brand idea of what they stand for whilst balancing the ideas of the clients brands, their projects and the people within the clients company themselves. You can all end up confused if you’re not strict with your approach and principles.

If you’ve worked at an agency or ever had the utter joy of being pitched to by one you will know the logo slide in the agency presentation. The beautifully grided selection of glossy logos. It’s often on the website too. I’ve been sat in many rooms where it gets interrogated for all sorts of reasons:

  • How much is that company really using your services?
  • Did you have a positive impact on that company?
  • Are they still going?
  • Who are they, I’ve never heard of them?
  • Do you know Bob Smith at that company?
  • Did you hear the gossip about them?

This logo slide can be tricky, you really start to expose your cohort, their brand quickly creep into yours. For all the right and wrong reasons. Your clients belief in you can be completely manufactured from this logo selection.

I keep running over the selection of companies on the Slack NYSE listing poster [above]. They have an estimated 10m+ clients to choose from. I don’t have much of an opinion on what they chose, but I can imagine it was a messy job to pick the companies. You want the logos to resonate with the finance world, you want to show you’re global, you can work with the new starters and the old incumbents.

Slack have a tough job on their hands. Their brand has transformed for this IPO and I believe it has a long way to go for Analysts to really understand the company and product. They will likely take a kicking with reports on competitors user numbers, however, if they can ground their brand next to right cohort of brands — companies really changing what work is and how it is done, that could just be perfect. I really hope so, I bought stock.

1872. Shisedio — Japan, skin, beauty and cosmetics
1928. Cole Haan — Chicago, footwear and accessories
1977. Oracle — Californian B2B computer databases and software
1982. E*Trade — Californian, Financial services, trading platforms
1982. Electronic Arts — Californian, Video Games
2000. IAG — Australian, Insurance
2005. Etsy — USA, Marketplace for handmade and vintage items
2007. Hulu — Californian, JV between Disney & Comcast, SVOD
2007. Farfetch — UK, London, E-commerce luxury clothes

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