Daily Blog #6: Why I’m Obsessed With Vans.

Content works.

I have been wearing Vans sneakers, Vans t-shirts and Vans sunglasses for years.

The Metallica special editions? Bought ‘em.

The Bad Religions? Yep.

Germs sneakers, Ramones sneakers, Bad Brains sneakers, Marvel Comics sneakers, I was always online searching for them.

I got my first pair of vans over 15 years ago, and I still choose to wear them more than any other shoe.

I wear Vans sunglasses like an extension of my face.

Because to me, Vans represents something. It’s not just a pair of sneakers.

Vans represent who I want to be.

And they do that through content.

That is an absolute major 🔑

People will choose your brand because of your content.

Ultimately, we very often choose brands, and artists and artists through content that we align ourselves with based on whether or not it inspires us, or teaches us, or represents an identity that we want.

Vans, for me, are a connection to the skater, and the punk kid that I have always and will always be, at heart.

They represent that D.I.Y, going-against-the-grain ethos that drives the way that I work.

They do it through their content.

Through videos and material that resonate with the parts of me that are aligned with the punk kid.They do it through their visuals, through the events that they sponsor and organise, and the bands and artists that they sponsor. It’s all content. When I see Instagram posts, band notes, band videos, skate videos…

Because of that, I am deeply invested in the brand, and I want to keep on going back to their products, time and time again. That’s loyalty, and it’s loyalty driven by my brand connection.

If we’re choosing a product or a platform based solely on form or function, rather than on content, we’ll flip to whatever competitor does that shit better. That’s not loyalty. It’s consumer behaviour.

You need to drive that content. Or you’ll lose.

Why should you choose a particular VC fund to invest in a startup? Right now, the answer may be simple.

They’ve got a great track record. Great companies in their portfolio. Great network.

And all of that is just fine. But if a fund turns up who can do that just as well? What would make you still want to pick them?

That’s where this deeper loyalty and representation comes into play.

The funds who can demonstrate that they represent who you want to be as a startup, as a culture, as a set of values, through their content, will be able to hold onto that loyalty.

That will determine your choice.

Content is I choose to support and promote and engage with artists like Childish Gambino, Alex Pardee, Billy Martin, Josh Madden and Cupcake because through their content and their messaging, they represent a part of me that resonates. Same with companies like A16z, Basecamp and Razer.

When it comes down to it, you’re not supposed to be out here spruiking a product every fucking day. You’re supposed to be demonstrating a brand that makes people care. And content is the absolute key.


🗓 Today is gorgeous in Sydney. I’m in my office at home playing Doom, writing the daily blog, and working on the script for a narrative podcast and the script for a short film about being a maker in 2018. Projects that may never see the light of day, but that I feel an urge to follow along.

I’ve got a deck I’m editing for a startup who are looking for funding right now, which is a favour to a good friend and actually hella fun for me. Decks and pitching don’t have to be a nightmare. Once you recognise that it’s actually just about telling a story…boom.

This week, there’s a VC fund in the states that want me to look at some of their videos and check out what they’re doing, and tell them how it could be better. That’s another thing that I love getting my hands dirty with.

💡My Daily Ask:

I’m interested in working on more VC content and helping cool funds tell a story, interviewing a VR startup for a post and talking to podcasters who want to help me out with the plans for my new shows. If you can help me with any of that, drop me a line: jon@jonwestenberg.com