Playing The Brand Game


Bringing a brand to life is like a good video game. A game, where the main character continually needs to develop new skills in order to reach the next level. As the character in the video game grows in strength and becomes more powerful with the ongoing story of the game, so does your brand. You have to earn your way up though. You always have to finish one stage before you can level up and move on. There are no shortcuts. During this journey, your brand grows and grows until it eventually masters the game.

LEVEL 1: IDEA stage

Everything starts here! This level is really just to get you familiar with the game. A tutorial if you will. Play around with your idea. Analyze it. Tweak it. Talk about it. How could you bring it to market? Who would buy it? You are going to be adding value to the world here. Don’t quit!

LEVEL 2: What do you actually need to make it happen?

This level gives you a better understanding of what the game will be all about. It shows you that in order to complete some levels of the game, you will have to work hard for it. There will be nights and weekends where there will be nothing else but the game and you. Are you ready? This level also has an end boss. It’s called “What stops me?” Many brands don’t make it past this level. Don’t quit!

LEVEL 3: The birth of the brand.

Congratulations! You made it through the first two levels. Your brand is born. Now you may design a logo, register an LLC, file a trademark or make your first product prototype. Whatever it is, you are familiar with the game now and are really getting started. This is usually the point, where you cannot turn off the game anymore, and all you think about is the game. Keep going!

LEVEL 4: Your brand is born.

You are getting some recognition. Maybe your first news cover. Maybe you made your first sales or raised investment. People are responding to what you have created. Your fanbase is growing. At the same time, new challenges arise. But you are entirely in the game now and learned so much already. You know that with enough passion, hard work, and trust, you will reach the next level - however this will look. Keep going!

LEVEL 5: What is next?

That is totally up to you! The beauty of this game is you are not only a player, but you are also the designer of the game. You can choose what is next and where this journey ultimately will go. Just be aware that it comes in stages and that you need to complete specific steps before you reach the next level. Don’t stop!


Malte came to San Diego from Germany in 2011 by chance. He developed a passion for the ocean and environment. Inspired by a famous outdoor brand, he started his own ocean-minded company to help keep plastics out of the ocean and save marine life. His mission is to educate the youth about the danger of plastics for the environment and the importance of recycling.