- Under: Brand
You’re looking at the very first sketch of the CHIEF logo, drawn seven years ago in a notebook full of haphazard writing and sketches. In just a couple quick strokes of a Sharpie it was there, and we immediately felt its significance. It was true to us.
The BE BRAVE tagline followed shortly after. The logo and tagline became signals of our culture, and the expectations we wanted to set. We made BE BRAVE so big that we couldn’t hide from it. We wanted it to challenge us every minute of the day.
The brand was designed to be inherently motivating so that anyone who came across it would like it without having to know anything about the agency. We wanted people to attach their own meaning to it.
I can’t tell you how many have said that BE BRAVE has motivated them in personal ways. We’ve had clients tell us “We’re ready to Be Brave” when signing us as their agency. We receive pictures of random people wearing CHIEF t-shirts from all over the world. It’s amazing how far the brand has traveled. There have also been touching moments when people have requested CHIEF/BE BRAVE gear for loved ones bringing an unimaginable level of bravery to fighting life-threatening illnesses.
The response to the CHIEF brand has been tremendous. However, there were early detractors—there were many who loved it, but there were also those who didn’t. Some competitors were condescending toward it, saying things like “isn’t that cute." One thing was clear: There was never a neutral response. It was either love or hate, which taught us a powerful lesson:
If you don’t get resistance to an idea, if your work doesn’t elicit strong feelings—negative or positive—it’s probably not going to have an effect.
And for us, there was too much at stake not to have an effect. That sketch was the beginning of a brand that was true. We didn’t care who liked it. We loved it. And it turns out others did too.