Sting and Branding

Sting is a bass player. You know, for the Police? One of a myriad of things that bass players admire about Sting is his sparse playing. He leaves space between the notes, and when he does play, it’s brilliant.

So when branding Market Motive, I decided to be like Sting. It wasn’t my idea. It was Bryan’s idea. Bryan runs ZURB, a stellar creative agency. Bryan tolerated me while helping us brand our last company, ClickTracks. To celebrate my departure, I called him and asked him to buy me lunch. I said I’d drive.

Over some really great pepperoni in Cupertino, I’m probing to see if I can afford Bryan for my new venture, Market Motive. But before he tells me he’s booked, Bryan says something I thought I’d never hear from a branding specialist: “Why not skip the big branding process?” “What, like craigslist?” I asked. “Actually, like Lucky Oliver” he explained, “We never created a graphic for the logo and it’s doing just fine.”

The real concept is in being, well, real. I admit I still have the old urges to show stock photos of smiling people and tall glassy buildings that invoke images of a 900-person agency (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those). But, that’s not us… yet. No, we’re going to grow the company right in front of you.

We took the idea to local design firm LMN group and asked them to “UNbrand’ us as professionally as possible. A credit to Lisa and Tim, they took the idea and ran with it right away. Not that it was easy. But I think they did a great job under the duress of our ever-changing minds.

So what you see on our new site is sparse. Very little nav. Almost a landing-page oriented approach. Imagine that. There’s two significant options we present: Sign up for the members-only site and learn Internet marketing OR, hire our team to do it for you. (So far a significant number of you are doing both)

There’s definitely space between the notes here. Brilliant? I hope so. Real? Absolutely.

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