Want to Build a Better Brand? Start by Eating More Soup Dumplings

Amidst so much noise around the question of what “brand” really means, our unsung hero — the soup dumpling — has the answer we’ve been searching for. Enjoy.

Danny Dunn
The Startup
Published in
4 min readOct 24, 2019


Deliciously thought-provoking soup dumplings.
Photo by Victor Mui on Unsplash

If you’re like me, you don’t actually need an excuse to dig into some deliciously juicy and warm steamed soup dumplings. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the dead of winter or during a summer heatwave — they call my name all year round.

While recently digging into a batch of these other-worldly delicacies, I came across something interesting.

Now, don’t hate me for this. I try to get freshly-made soup dumplings when I can but it’s not always in the cards (and sometimes the cravings are strong enough that I simply can’t sit around and wait for a proper dumpling joint to whip up a batch of pure juicy magic just for me) so… I eat the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s.

I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds

Except, in this case, it was.

I ate five out of six dumplings and, wouldn’t you know it, the time came to consume the FINAL one (you will eventually learn my dumpling eating technique but it will have to wait until another day, good friend) and everything was fine until…

No filling. Just broth.

The room went dark around me. Chopsticks dramatically fell to the floor, probably in slow motion. Which is weird because I wasn’t using chopsticks. Or slow motion.

A single tear slowly danced its way down my bewildered and defeated face.

The pain… the shame. This was an abomination.

Thankfully, my family was there to comfort and grieve with me during those difficult days.

In time, I did eventually come around.

And the lesson I learned is the one I share with you today.

Don’t Not Have Filling.

Er, guess I should say, “have filling.” Either way, here’s the actual concept in a nutshell (or a dumpling shell, if you will, but I think in that case you would call it “skin” which, now that I…



Danny Dunn
The Startup

☕ Hi I’m Danny and I like strong black coffee. I also enjoy writing about branding and copywriting | http://saidanddunn.com/