Creating a successful brand – The small stuff

Out there, in the ever-expanding interverse, tonnes of articles and blog posts have been written about creating a successful brand. Most of it, in terms of copy, is really high-level stuff that focuses on taglines and what I know as boilerplate copy, ie the standard description an organisation uses to describe itself.

All of this is super important. But if you ask me what words really make a brand, it’s those little bits of copy you come across unexpectedly which make you think, ‘I know these guys. I know where they’re coming from.’ Often these teeny tiny jewels are found on the packaging of products (see the BrewDog example), at the end of emails (see example), or… pretty much anywhere (see Threadless’s shopping trolley copy).

What they do is make a brand feel real and solid, rather than a flimsy façade. At every turn, they re-emphasise what an organisation or product is all about. So if you’re looking to rebrand, doing a brand refresh, or just trying to make your current brand work harder, do take the time to look at the really small stuff. Because what’s the point of spending a lot of time and money getting your major messaging right if you then don’t produce smaller copy which backs it up and sounds totally in tune.




This bit of copy is just about readable on the label of a bottle of BrewDog Punk IPA beer. Yet even though it’s tiny, and it might be missed by many, it’s still faithful to the company’s forthright tone of voice.

At the end of their emails, the holiday peeps continue to project that they’re a pretty relaxed, fun sort of company:

Has this email gone a bit Picasso?
You know, images over there, and
words over here. If so, contact us…




The art / T-shirt online community injects humour wherever it can (and even encourages you to buy their stuff without sounding pushy – v clever):