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. Through every encounter, the pirates solidified what their brand meant in people’s minds. And as time passed, and more people encountered their brand, people couldn’t help but recount their memorable experiences with the pirate brand. And so the pirate legend grew.
The pirates delivered so consistently on their brand promise that eventually all they had to do was show their logo – the skull and crossbones – to a potential client and the ship would drop it’s cargo and flee.
Grow your legend.
That’s why pirates are my branding heros. They managed to do what every business owner dreams of — create a business presence so meaningful that people are motivated to act just by encountering it.
This post was inspired by the book Glimmer by Warren Berger.