So your brand walks in to a bar……

By now, you’ve already heard some iteration of how important your brand is to your startup. It’s what defines you. It’s what you stand behind. It’s the fuel that feeds the beast. These are all true but where do you start when you begin to develop your brand?

Brands are typically defined by using brand archetypes that have been scaled up to 24 and down to 6. I think that there is a more fun way of determining what your brand stands for. Ask your team “if our brand walked in to a bar, what would it look like? How would it act? How would it sound?”

Let’s look at a couple of examples and give them a name:


Kirk is dressed in slacks and a turtle neck. He enjoys a strong Pinot Noir and prefers bars with low lights with simple jazz in the background. He only wants to have conversations with people that are “on the same level” as him when it comes to sophistication and educational background. Kirk likes it when people think of him as being in a higher class and prefers it that way.

Example Brands: Jaguar, Louis Vuitton


Brian is dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with a big, cheesy smile on his face. He enjoys whatever the specials are for the night and prefers an environment with a lot of chatter and energy. He loves having conversations with anybody and everybody in the bar. And if the conversation goes on for long enough, he will likely buy the whole group a round of shots. Brian wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time and that he comes off as very accommodating.

Example Brands: Amazon, Zappos


Jessica is dressed in skinny jeans and a cute green tank. She enjoys a local craft beer as long as it’s on a patio somewhere in town. She enjoys meeting up with a group of friends but is perfectly fine with meeting new people during her night out. Although she’s very approachable and willing to try other drinks, she knows when there isn’t a “fit” and doesn’t have a problem reverting back to what she likes.

Example Brands: Twitter, Fossil


Veronica is dressed in a short beautiful red dress with high heels on. She only drinks cranberry and vodkas. She only goes to the most high-end bars in town and typically sits by herself. She puts off the vibe that she is better than everyone else and doesn’t care to interact with them. So naturally, every guy in the room is trying to start a conversation with her somehow by sending her drinks or coming up with some stupid pick up line. Half the room hates her and the other half just want her to acknowledge them.

Example Brands: Aston Martin, Christian Louboutin

This is always a fun whiteboard session with the team. Once you have defined who your brand is, stick with it. This will help the entire team get on the same page and help you when determining where to position your brand in the marketplace.