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My Favorite Brand

During the SF Music Tech opening reception this evening, my new friend Tom asked me what my favorite brand is.  Oddly, I told him that I didn’t know.

When the conversation floated through back through my mind later on as I walked home, the answer came quickly and clearly: Patagonia.

Why Patagonia?

In part, because it is an amazing company.  Patagonia’s Mission is to: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

Also, Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, is one of my heroes.  First, as a climber and then as a business person, I hope to follow in Yvon’s footsteps.  Yvon’s book, Let My People Go Surfing, inspired me to become a more responsible businessperson.  Yvon taught me an important life lesson: the more you know the less you need.  Whether in a Willamette University course study, a Brandchannel paper, or countless business books about social enterprise, Patagonia often is held up as a role model for creating brand loyalty.

Yet, to me, the coolest thing from a branding perspective is that Patagonia is pronounceable in every language.  Given the importance of brand consistency, that’s not only cool, that’s brilliant!

Even though I stood like a deer in the headlights when called upon to name my favorite brand, like many things in life, once I stopped thinking about it, the obvious choice appeared.


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ok. I’ll jump in on this one too. But, being an artist, looking at it from a graphics perspective rather than the brand mission.

    I’d say one of my favorite brand logos is the MTV logo. The original was designed to be a “frame” rather than a completed logo. That way it could be filled with any color, texture, or wallpaper that fit the situation. It was really very ingenious. It was a way of trying to incorporate a type of postmodern philosophy to the network representation. In fact, they used to ENCOURAGE people to fill the logo with whatever they wanted; which is an anomaly in a graphic design realm where logo guidelines are usually very strict.

    The logo was redesigned last year – with the same thought. Although, with the shifting nature of the medium, the logo is now filled with video content rather than graphics.

    While I’m not exactly in the demographic of their programming, I still appreciate the intelligence behind the brand. It shows that there is an intention to go beyond just a superficial, static representation.

    1. Thanks, Ed! Sorry for my delayed response — I have to turn the e-mail notices back on now that my designers added a spam filter! The intricacies of technology!

      I agree that the MTV logo “frame,” is cool. I didn’t know / realize that before reading your post (though now that I think back, I recall it being dynamic). I don’t think I’m in their demographic either, but I appreciate the MTV brand more now.

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