I like to think about pirates when I think about branding.
Branding is an abstract concept and I find hard to understand or explain. So when I'm thinking about branding, I think about pirates.
As I see it, pirates are one of the oldest and most effective brands.
Just imagine that you were sailing on a big, wooden ship in the middle of some cold, lonely waterway and you saw a ship appear in the distance. As it heads towards you, you see that it flies a flag... and as it gets even closer to you, you see what's on the flag... GULP... a skull and crossbones. Seeing this logo, you immediately form an idea of what kind of experience is in store for you, courtesy of the pirate brand.
The pirates also had a brand promise - YOU ARE F*$KED - and they consistently delivered on it, client experience after client experience.