Content // Brand DNA

Brand DNA

By Matthew Desotell
Sep 25, 2018

The DNA of something. The Essence of something. The Heart. The Soul. The Why. That which the “whole” is derived from. By definition:

“A self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms..” 

“…the carrier of genetic information…” 

“The fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.”

However you want to think of it, whatever it is for a brand, the DNA should be so well defined that everyone at every level, knows what it is and can easily talk about it. When the DNA or “story” is well defined, it can be better realized and actualized. Everyone from the person taking the trash out late at night, to an executive or most public face of the organization knows the story. And you could tap anyone of them on the shoulder at any time and they could tell it to you. They can say it in an elevator ride up to the 7th floor or up to the 32nd. Over a quick drink, or through extended conversation. If they all know the story, and why it is and how it is, they can better sell it and spread the word. It doesn’t even matter if they agree with the story, they should still know it. Whether or not they should be on your team is another thing. Those that are may not only know it, but might be living, breathing examples of it. Disciples. Evangelical about it.  

“The DNA. It’s the first thing, and the last thing.”

However ingrained within an organization, the essence of the brand DNA will exist through all the places you might encounter the brand’s product or message. A brochure. An Instagram caption. A tweet. A two min facebook video or 30 sec TV spot.  A hashtag. Doesn’t matter. Everywhere you go, there it is. The brand DNA. The essential ingredients. The source. The highest point on the mountain from which water is fetched far down stream.

The DNA can be so ingrained and well distributed, it could be registered at mere a glance, imprinting on us visually. Whether we know the whole story or not, the traces of the source are there in color, shape, context, words and imagery. It can translate through product photography and packaging and a tag line. Wherever the brand is, the DNA lives.  It is not exclusive. It’s inseparable and always present. Not just in pictures, but in its people. In customer service. In sales. And if done right in the macro and micro, it’s literally in the air – in the energy of its people, representatives and work culture.

The DNA. It’s the first thing, and the last thing. When the AI robots take over someday and clean up the crime scene, the last thing they’ll scrape off, is the essence of all that it ever was. Until then, let’s build the strongest DNA and story we can! 


– Matthew Desotell, Creative Director