Can a brand be built by accident?

How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary BrandsGreg Verdino has a great summary of a new book called Accidental Branding.  Based on his review, the book sounds like a must read with insight from the founders of Craigslist, Baby Einstein and Clif Bar.  All of these companies have built amazing brands without relying on the traditional “branding rules” employed by major industry players.  Until I have a chance to review the book, here are the rules for consistent and powerful accidental brand success according to Verdino:

  1. Do sweat the small stuff, obsessively – because the details can make all the difference in the world.
  2. Pick a fight – in other words, be prepared to go head-to-head with the de facto market leader and be prepared to buck the status quo.  After all, if you’re passionate about what you do, there’s no reason to kick back and play a distant number 2 to the same ol’ same ol’,
  3. Be your own customer – solve a problem you have personally, make a product you’d love to buy, be your own best customer.  I believe we unaccidental branders might call this authenticity.
  4. Be unnaturally persistent – overnight success, ain’t.  It can take years if not decades to create an enduring accidental brand.
  5. Build a myth – as David writes, “brands start with a story and end with a promise.”  Understand your brand’s story and know how it will be shared from brand to consumer and among consumers.
  6. Be faithful – to your best customers.  Listen to them, give them what they really want and stay focused.

3 Responses to Can a brand be built by accident?

  1. Derrick Rozdeba says:

    Hey Dave,

    You are my hero. I am about to embark on my own personal brand launch. Before I begin I searched the online world to learn from the best….that is how I found you. Can I use you as an example of success? Can you provide me any insights before I expose myself onto the www? I am a newbie as it concerns social marketing.


  2. Dave Knox says:

    Hey Derrick….would be happy to help. Just shoot me an email at and we can chat that way. – Dave

  3. Dave,

    Thanks for covering Greg’s review of Accidental Branding. I am frankly intrigued to hear your thoughts on the book. I wrote as a former brand manager reacting to the branding practices of untrained entrepreneurs – so hearing a working brand manager’s thoughts on the book would be very interesting. Let me know if you’d like me to send you a review copy of Accidental Branding.

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