Branding In 30 Seconds

Ian Lurie

Real branding is really hard, and I suck at it.

branded - ouch

So, I’ve had to come up with simpler, faster ways to make sure that, when I’m hired to do some internet marketing, I don’t pick up a client’s brand, rip it into a thousand tiny pieces and shove it into the garbage disposal.

Here’s a quick test I use to see if my brand assumptions are on track:

The Hiring Test

  1. Imagine you’re hiring your very first employee.
  2. Figure out three phrases that describe the perfect hire.
  3. Make sure they’re more specific than ‘fast’ or ‘smart’.

For example, at Portent I always aim for: ‘Intellectually curious’, ‘creative thinker’ and ‘honest’. It so happens that that’s a pretty good picture of Portent’s brand, too.

I am not suggesting this is a complete brand profile. That would be moronic. But this is a good way to make sure you’re not about to destroy your brand.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. Thanks Ian! Thats a great start, I’ll actually be sitting down with my designer to do a new logo and I’m going to use the phrases I came up with via your test to get it started.

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