Do You “Live Your Brand?”

How are you building your brand online?

Jason Calacanis, founder of Mahalo, has built over a dozen brands. In this recent video that he did exclusively for Mixergy, he talked about how build a brand.

Jason Calacanis

Jason Calacanis


Jason Calacanis is an entrepreneur and blogger. He founded and has built over a dozen brands.

Here’s the paraphrased text of what he said:

When I ran Silicon Alley Reporter magazine, I had an expression, “You have to live the brand.” I had tshirts made up that said, “Silicon Alley Reporter” and I wore one every day.

And it had a beautiful logo. I’m a believer in beautiful logos and really great brand names.

The brands I launched–Engadget, Autoblog, Joystiq, Silicon Alley Reporter, Digital Coast Reporter, Mahalo, TechCrunch50–all have memorable names.

And if you look at the logos, I spent extra time on the logos. I’m a little bit obsessive about a beautiful domain name, a beautiful logo, a domain name that you can spell over the phone, that is under a certain number of characters.

I think you need to have a really solid brand identity. And you have to suffer over creating it.

Even Autoblog, we debated that name because it was so simple. But we made it a good looking logo and it became a brand over time.

The mug I’m sipping from has the Mahalo logo. When you come to our office and have a cup of coffee, you’re going to be drinking from our logo.

Be the brand–in all ways.I would go to events wearing the Silicon Alley tshirt. I would have a backpack filled with 100 copies of the magazine. And would be walking around with a handful of them. I think some people thought I was a little crass, but I would rather be known as being a little over-aggressive or crass than have people not know Silicon Alley Reporter.

I handed a copy of my magazine to John F. Kennedy Jr. at a Knicks game and wound up having a conversation with him about it. I sent one to Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine, and to Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair magazine, and wound up talking to both of those guys about the magazine business.

You have to be aggressive in getting your message out there to people and building a great brand.

If you don’t live it, why should anybody else?


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