Any conversation about branding should begin, first and foremost, with a clear discussion about what you mean when you say, "brand." The definition (in my work on the subject) of a brand is: a relationship between an organization and an audience.

It isn't a logomark, color scheme, identity system, advertising, or any other asset or noun outside of the relationship. These surface artifacts project the relationship, but are not the totality of the relationship. Brand, the noun, means the relationship (more on this in a subsequent post).

A lean brand, then, is a brand wherein an organization and and audience have achieved a symbiotic relationship around common value without creating any extraneous branding waste.

Lean Branding is about brand innovation

It is optimized for disruptive brand-formation and is centered around experimentation, iteration, and the elimination of branding waste (yes...you might not need a logo!). Lean branding provides a scalable framework for continuous cycles of development and improvement through validated learning and real customer development.


The Lean Brand seeks to join and deepen with the Lean Startup movement to contribute a framework for startups to integrate your brand development into the activities and ideas you’re already employing as a lean startup. Whereas The Lean Startup and The Lean Entrepreneur provide techniques to create innovative products, The Lean Brand focuses on developing innovative relationships. When combined, the ideas and practices expressed in The Lean StartupThe Lean Entrepreneur, and The Lean Brand provide a dynamic platform for innovation and creation in our new marketplace.

On it’s own, the Lean Brand is becoming a movement of marketers, brand hackers, brand agencies, sales teams, customer service teams, forward thinking executives, and innovative organizations joining together to shift the way we think about branding in today’s world.


If you're interested, my book is coming out soon called, The Lean Brand. You can learn more and become an early adopter here: http://theleanbrand.me