How we built our brand

By founder Eric Zimmett

When I launched my agency in 2014, my first step — almost before securing any clients — was developing the Brand. As an advertising agency, I wanted to treat the agency as our first client.

I chose Braden, my middle name, as our company name — first with Braden Zimmett LLC then later in Braden Social Media LLC.

After initial research, I found that the name Braden had an interesting history and some potential branding options. Braden is derived from an Irish & Scottish Gaelic word meaning “salmon.” Immediately I recalled that salmon Swim Upstream. A bit too cliche for a tagline, I tweaked it a bit.

Swim Against The Stream had a nice ring to it. Another search revealed, surprisingly, that the domain name was available, Sure it was a lengthy domain, but any time you can own your brand or slogan on social media is a bonus. I also noticed that the hashtag #SwimAgainstTheStream was used some but not as much as other variations.

Braden Social Media first logo

Next I created our first logo, a simple badge design with the letters “BZ” in the center, for Braden Zimmett. Though I inserted a little fish in the bottom to showcase our salmon origin.

I began to dig deeper into the Braden name, soon finding it had even more history, mythology even. In Irish Folklore, bradán feasa is the ‘Salmon of Knowledge.”

Scales on the Big Fish or Salmon of Knowledge sculpture in Northern Ireland celebrates the return of fish to the River Lagan

“According to Celtic legend, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the well of wisdom. By this act, the salmon gained the world’s knowledge. The first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.”

A fantastic tale of a poet, Finneces, and his student Finn McCool. Swim Against The Stream… The Salmon of Knowledge… Finn McCool… Now this is something I can really see my brand embracing. Next I edited my own version of the tale and sent it to a voice-over artist to record. Listen below: 

With a little work, we had developed a Brand name, a logo and a connected to a story.

Develop your Brand & positioning before you even consider Strategy or Marketing.

What matters is giving the brand a story, and making sure the story has meaning — that our brand stands for something.

Published by Eric Zimmett

Principal at Braden Social Media

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s