our manifesto: #brandthechange


Now is the time to be an optimist.

Despite clear evidence that the world is now safer than ever, it seems pessimism rules and not without reason. We are witnessing the demise of common sense, the destruction of the natural world and the erosion of  human rights. At The Brandling, we are blessed to work with people around the world who get up every morning to create real, systemic change for our communities, economies and environment. They have turned us into optimists. Now, more than ever, we need to come together to support them.

Change starts when you are optimistic about your ability to make a difference.

Let’s do great ideas justice.

In a perfect world, great ideas would spread purely on their own merit. We do not live in a perfect world. In order to make real impact, we need to brand ideas for change professionally. Branding is often misinterpreted as styling or misused as a cosmetic cover-up. We see branding as a method of thinking that can help advance people, products, services and ideas for good.  Through intelligent branding we can get large audiences to adopt new habits and choose better products. Brand thinking is the skill to lift up young leaders and make them heard.

We can discuss the good and evil of branding for a couple more years, or we can roll up our sleeves and get to work.

We’re doing the latter.     

Away with branding gurus, we’re all brand thinkers...

Branding is an inherent human practice of all ages and all cultures, and the way of thinking that lies behind it can be taught. All you need is to understand the method behind the magic and how you can use it to your benefit.

...And when we say all, we mean all.

We believe talent is present in every corner of the world and that great ideas for change are born every day, not only in San Francisco and London but in Nairobi, Mumbai, Amman and São Paolo. However, branding knowledge is distributed unevenly across geographic and economic lines. We commit ourselves to creating world-class, affordable tools, training material and knowledge resources to build your brand thinking skills, accessible whether you live in Canada or Kenya.

Brand thinking is a leadership skill.

Big change will be created by great leaders. Whether you are an activist, banker, scientist, surfer or CEO, if you want to lead change you need a clear vision for change and how you can get there, and be intentional about how you will attract thousands of people to follow you on the journey. Brand thinking is the skill to do just that. Therefore, brand thinking should be an integral part of leadership development.

To brand is an act of courage – our tribe has your back.

The attempt to create change is an act of courage, and by extension, so is branding your efforts.

To create a brand is to step into the spotlight and send your idea out into the world in the hope of attracting bigger and better audiences. The desired goal is to be influential, but the journey makes you vulnerable. We see the blood, sweat and tears; we hear the challenges and questions. That’s why we are building a tribe where changemakers, and branding, marketing and communications experts, come together to support each other and to share their learnings. Brand experts should be allies to the people fighting the good fight. Together we are stronger.

Make it good. 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Branding social and environmental progress is an expertise that requires serious study, research, review and iteration. It requires a willingness to leave our ego's at the door. None of us should be in it to be seen to do good. Our goal should be to serve actual impact. 

Purpose is the next paradigm shift we need.

We can’t stay niche; we need the big boys to come on board.

We want to see a world where all businesses have a social and environmental purpose by default. In order to get there, we need innovators within these companies to have the wind in their sails. We need social ventures to become so attractive that they outperform traditional businesses and attract the best talent, the largest investments and the most customers. So much so that traditional ventures will need to start competing on ethics, purpose and sustainability. Branding will help us get there.

Let’s do this together. Spread the word. Share your thoughts. Join the discussion! Tell us about your vision for change on twitter and instagram using the hashtag #brandthechange.