« Back

Is Your Brand Insane?

October 18, 2018

You’ve heard it so many times…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s why the Tag team is perplexed by the similarities between brands in so many categories.

In Tag’s Brand Primer sessions, we begin by providing the definition of a brand so attendees are on the same page with us. We tell them a brand is a claim of distinction. We point out examples of how successful brands provide a clear and defining reason for someone to do business with them. It’s is all about differentiation.

Tag has a theory that a category leader is perceived by its competitors as “doing it right.” If competitors emulate what the leaders are doing and saying, then they will become leaders too, right? Wrong. What they are missing is the leader’s clarity about its claim of distinction, or reason for being. Also known as the “why” of a company or brand, a philosophy The Brand Establishment’s practices are built around. The Brand Establishment is the certifying body for brand strategists, like me, seeking to help companies align business and brand strategies for maximum success.

So, how do you know if your brand is insane? Renee Watson’s blog The Brand of Giving Back provides an excellent example of this in Warby Parker. “Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.” The good news is there are lots of brands doing it right. Here’s a short list of Tag’s favorite “sane” brands:

  • Southwest
  • TOMS
  • Apple
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Buck Naked Underwear

As for insane brands or categories of brands, we pick:

  • Almost any local bank. (Hey, they’re local. Isn’t that different enough?)
  • Buick
  • AT&T
  • Countless colleges and universities.
  • United or American Airlines (Take your pick.)

How do you know if your brand is insane? Here’s a good test. If the ‘About Us’ page on your website begins with number of years in business, number of employees, annual revenue, etc. then rewrite it immediately! It should define your brand’s difference and the reason it exists. Not sure what that is? Contact a Certified Brand Strategist in your market for help.


Certified Brand Strategist for Tag, Michelle Taglialatela has 25+ years of experience in business-to-business and business-to-consumer advertising. Price has been recognized for creative excellence and currently holds 35+ awards. In 2004, Michelle became a Certified Brand Strategist and member of The Brand Establishment.

About The Brand Establishment

The Brand Establishment perfected the first contemporary brand development process specifically for small to mid-sized advertisers more than two decades ago. These tools and procedures have been utilized by companies in virtually every business sector – hundreds of times.