Brands are Memes

Everyone agrees you need a brand.

Does everyone know what it does?

In competitive markets where two or more different products have the same functions and benefits, it’s the brand that’s driving consumer choice. How? By creating stories, values and associations that a consumer can see themselves in. But a healthy brand does more than find customers: it finds the right ones. It drives pricing power (how much you can charge for your product), how much you pay to acquire a customer (CAC), and how long that customer sticks around (AOV). The question is, how do you build a brand that goes viral on the internet? You start by reading Darwin.

Know who understood viral growth?

Charles Darwin. In 1859.

The internet has changed a lot about the world. But not fundamental human behaviour. Our theory of how brands is an iteration of Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Just as the strongest species survive and thrive in competitive environments, so do the strongest ideas. What Darwin calls Selection, Variation and Inheritance, we call Care, Hear and Share.

Care, Hear, Share.

Because you remember things better when they rhyme.

Your customer is assaulted with thousands of ideas every day, usually from the minute they wake up. If you want your idea to spread, you need to do 3 things effectively: make people care, make sure they hear, and convince them to share.


Cut Through the Noise

We live in an attention economy. And in an environment that competes for eyeballs and mindshare, people care about and engage with some ideas over others. So you need to figure out how to make people care enough to look twice.


Build in Flexibility

Everyone understands the world in their own way. Which means misinterpretation is inevitable. So if you want to get your idea across, you need to allow for different interpretations of your idea that don’t lose the original meaning.


Give People a Story

Telling everyone how great you are all the time is expensive. And boring. “Viral” growth is when your consumers do that work for you. To do that, you need to be part of your consumers’ identity; a chapter in story about themselves that they want to share.

Sound interesting?

These fancy conferences agree.

Want to know more? Watch some of our recent talks at highfalutin international conferences. If you prefer your explanations of proprietary agency theories littered with “daddy” in the comments check out Charl’s talk at ConFig. If you’d prefer for an actual daddy to explain the theory and let you know who let the dogs out, check out Danny at Brand New.

Brand and Digital.

Made for Meatbags. Always Beta™

Us electrified meat bags get hardware upgrades every few hundred thousand years or so, which means the basic psychological and sociological patterns that we humans developed to form small tribes and hunt beasts in the great valley of Africa haven’t had time to rewire. Which means if you want to understand how to build brands, you’ve gotta understand who’s engaging with them: humans. And if you want to build a brand that works on the internet, you need to understand how an ever-evolving, hyper-connected environment works, too. You need to do more than just set and forget. You need to be ready to evolve, constantly. Always in beta.

Want to build a meme?

Join the queue.

We work with clients for a long time, not just a good time: our branding projects work in 12 month engagements to make sure our work actually works. As a result, we only have space to take on a select few clients per quarter. If you want to join the waitlist, click this button. And if you want to skip the queue, we offer rush rates and 5 week sprints. Because capitalism.