I can't believe this is the kind of shit I think about while at brunch with some pals on a Sunday afternoon, but here we are...
Does "brand" matter?
First, cool your jets, brand val kids - I'm not talking about this from a valuation, ROI, LTV, blah blah blah standpoint. That's point Z. I'm thinking about this in terms of point A, step 1, zero dark launch.
This question popped into my head this week when Ben Pieratt created an identity without a product and put it for sale with the cool price tag of $18K (complete with URL, Tumblr account, and some t-shirts, though..) with his project hessian.tv.
While to keep myself employed, the answer is of course brand matters. And just because, of course it does. Ask any company worth more than $100 and a little bit of ambition to earn more than that $100 and they'll tell you it does. How much is is a different conversation all together that I don't have the energy to write about today.
But at the same time, our the gate, it really doesn't matter.
Whenever clients ask me "What's a good name?" or "Is this the right logo?" The answer is always "any name" and "sure, depends on you."
Because a name, a logo, any identity element means absolutely nothing until you train your marketing (read: spend a decent amount of time and money) to know what it means.
You can name your company Akjiwa if you want and if you have enough cash to put marketing behind it, it can become the best damn name anyone's ever seen (see: Google, Kodak).
On the flip side, you can name your company Hat Store and be neither a store nor sell hats as long as you have the cash to tell people that's the case (see: Apple, BlackBerry, Orange and lots of real word abstract non-fruit names)
So I'm actually less pissed off about Hessian.tv than I was earlier this week.
It does go against everything I believe in creative strategy in that you of course start with what you want to accomplish and land on a name. And I do think Ben was probably just showing off his creativity with a different idea that would get him a few eye balls.
But it actually could be an awesome brand for the right company - one that can add a few more 0s on the end of that $18,000 price tag to define the perception of the Hessian brand.
Or someone in the business of selling Hessians.