It’s Impossible To Scale or Sell A “Personality” Brand – Right?

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Perhaps not.

In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests “human” brand names outperform corporate brand names.

If you want to see how this type of model works a scale, look at the countless examples of luxury, prestige and lifestyle brands in the marketplace. The vast majority of them were named after a founder:

  • Guccio Gucci
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Coco Chanel
  • Thomas Burberry
  • Christian Dior
  • Hubert de Givenchy
  • Valentino Garavani
  • Gianni Versace
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Thierry Hermès
  • Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana
  • Ermenegildo Zegna
  • Edoardo Fendi
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Calvin Klein
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Hugo Boss
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Mario Prada
  • Enzo Ferrari
  • Alfieri Maserati
  • Ferruccio Lamborghini
  • Ettore Bugatti
  • Antonio Ducati
  • Walter Bentley
  • Charles Rolls and Henry Royce
  • Ferdinand Porsche
  • Sidney Myer
  • David Jones
  • Harry Gordon Selfridge
  • Andrew Saks
  • Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale
  • Charles Henry Harrod
  • Jean-Marc Vacheron and François Constantin
  • Léon Breitling
  • Louis-François Cartier
  • Daniel Swarovski
  • Charles Lewis Tiffany
  • Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen
  • Amar Bose
  • Carl Zeiss
  • James Dyson
  • Leo Fender

It doesn’t take too much research or effort to see that among luxury and prestige brands, the number of organisations that carry the names of their founders are disproportionately high.

All of these founders (and more!) loaned their names and personal branding to the companies that they founded – helping their enterprise to gain trust and prestige in ways that few companies are able to.

This is counter intuitive.

Logically, we assume that bearing a founder’s name would be a yoke around a company’s neck that would constrain its growth. But carrying the name of a founder creates a sense of connection, and promise of quality and trustworthiness, that more corporate names are unable to mimic.

Plus a personality-driven brand can grow and evolve as the personality behind it grows and evolves – in ways that corporate brands cannot.

But what if you’re already branded as a company?…Or it doesn’t make sense to use your own name as your brand?

That’s fine.

Just work to make your brand more “human”.

Highlight key people. Tell their stories.

Throw away your robotic systems, procedures and policies – go back to your ancestral roots – and ask how a tribal hunter-gatherer might have this interaction, without the aid of technology or stuffy corporate protocols.

Engage in conversations with your customers, and be open for them to engage you in conversation too.

Be willing to make mistakes and show imperfections.

And – importantly – show that you’re not just a brand: you’re people, just like your customers are.


Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your brand – and make more sales? Get in touch to find out about the tiny tweaks that can lead to a 12-200% increase in online sales – instantly – for your business.


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