Good brands are fractal

Definition of fractal, from Hyperdictionary

A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be
subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a
smaller copy of the whole. Fractals are generally self-similar (bits
look like the whole) and independent of scale (they look similar, no
matter how close you zoom in)

Good brands are fractal.  Every interaction you have reflects the interaction you’ll have with every other piece of the whole, as well as the whole itself.  Since "brand" is shorthand for the total experience you get from buying, using, servicing, and disposing of a product, creating a great brand requires taking a fractal point of view to the process of designing total experiences where everything — large and small — is consistent and mutually self-reinforcing.

What’s the implication for creating cool stuff?  I haven’t fully thought this one out, but I think it all boils down to leadership.  Behind every great product is someone who had a vision of the end thing in mind and was able to say "yes" and "no" to help the development team understand that vision.  In a way, great products require a kind of fractal leadership able to recognize the right texture for a button, the right message for the box, the right approach to customer support and service.

What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Good brands are fractal

  1. Thanks, I really like how you laid out this concept of fractal brands. I think founders of the great companies have a vision “with the end thing in mind” that was so wholly clear to them that it was effortless to remain focused and be steadily resonant. The key word is wholly. Later, if that cultural DNA isn’t imparted and imprinted with this vision once the originators are gone, the company often is said to have “lost touch” with the essence of the brand.

  2. A company practicing fractal growth can grow infinitely without getting “larger”. James Gleick’s book Chaos describes the length of a shoreline as an example of this–a stretch of beach can be a mile long as you drive it, or maybe 10 miles long if you follow every inlet. It can be 100 miles long if you look at every grain of sand. It can be infinite if you look at the varations within every grain of sand. A company that franchises every positive aspect of its business to cover processes from accounting to marketing can keep growing in this way.

  3. Venturing out

    I’d gotten locked into this tiny little world encompassed by my RSS reader… so tonight I’m venturing out to read new blogs. How the heck did I miss Diego’s MetaCool blog? Really smart stuff. Onto the blogroll he goes. His

  4. Good brands are fractal. Every interaction you have reflects the interaction you’ll have with every other piece of the whole, as well as the whole itself
    I think you;re spot on. Even “brand awareness” is based upon some sort of ‘fractal’ communication – a glance, or sound half-heard. I just wish clients would pay attention to the [details of the] product or service as part of an holistic view of the brand instead of divorcing it to the role of ‘marketing’. Love your blog/writing btw.

Comments are closed.