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Decide What You’re Not About

Sure, your brand needs to stand for something. But it needs to stand against something, too.
COLLABORATORS David Brier, Carmine Gallo
How to create a crummy brand
illustration by Todd Detwiler

"Rising Above the Noise"

Determining what your brand stands for is Marketing 101, but don’t overlook the crucial importance of deciding what it opposes. Brand identity expert David Brier offers three examples:

  • Apple opposes technology that gets in the way of user experience;
  • Nike opposes couch-potatoism; and
  • Dyson opposes technological complacency (even when that means making its own products obsolete).


In a recent article in Fast Company, Brier lambasts Best Buy for what he sees as its failure to establish what it stands for or opposes. He offers this handy visual guide for what not to do:



Best Buy has plenty of critics these days.

For a more optimistic outlook on the 1,400-store chain’s prospects, read Carmine Gallo’s take in Forbes on why new CEO Hubert Joly—who has a background in the hospitality industry, not retail—is a wise choice.

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