In the Beginning: Legendary Origin Stories of Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and 7 More

Nathaniel Bastin
The Startup
Published in
7 min readOct 13, 2020

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On Foundation Mythology as Part of the Brand Toolkit

Question: Before revolutionising the vacuum, what was James Dyson originally looking to reinvent?

For those that make it all the way to end, the answer will be revealed!

I recently read “Branding: In Five and a Half Steps” by Michael Johnson.

“Branding: In Five and a Half Steps” by Michael Johnson

The book begins with a brief history of branding as a discipline, all the way back to the 1870s when the first trademarks were registered in the UK, USA and Germany. (Fascinating for a brand-nerd like me!)

It got me thinking about the power of “once upon a time” and how — contrived or otherwise — a foundational story can be a powerful weapon within the marketing toolkit for building a cult brand.

And, to help make my case, here are ten (very abbreviated) foundational myths from some of the world’s top companies. Enjoy!

Amazon

In 1994, Jeff Bezos was working diligently on Wall Street, performing well by all accounts. But then, at 30 years old, he began to see the internet revolution take place, and made the decision to quit his job and start an…

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Nathaniel Bastin
The Startup

Full Stack Brand Builder | Published in “The Startup”, “Better Marketing” & “Entrepreneur’s Handbook” | x.com/NB_Branding