What’s your essential brand profile?

At Salt, we talk a lot about ‘Essential’ brands. Brands that cut through the clutter, build desire, drive loyalty, and create advocacy. When you have the choice, what do you choose? When friends ask you for recommendations, what do you say? When you think about your future, what brands inspire your thinking?

We’re all consumers. We all buy products, use services, download Apps, and share experiences. Essential brands are the ones that always rise to the top, the ones we are willing to look a little harder to find or pay a little extra for because their value means more to us than just convenience or money. They reflect something we believe in. They become essential to how we live our lives.

Here at Salt, we’re fascinated by how people build connections with brands and vice versa. Admittedly, we have a professional curiosity, but we all have our favorite brands, and as an agency that deals in branding, we thought we should share some of our favorites with you.

The more we thought about this, the more intrigued we became by how brands relate to our own lives. Not just the brands we use today but perhaps those we have used in the past or may want to consider in the future?

To help organize our thoughts, we came up with 10 categories. These are by no means exhaustive, but they do force us to think about brands from a truly personal perspective. It’s like compiling your favorite top 10 movies or the songs that changed your life. Together, these categories build a personal brand profile—a snapshot of some of the brands that matter in your life.

Some are what you might expect—the big names and market leaders. Others are more personal, more unique. They relate to us as individuals or remind us of an important person or moment in our lives. And, although not all brands stay with us forever, it’s surprising how many really do. 

Here are our Essential 10 Categories. Try it for yourself!

1: Nostalgia – Which brand most creates a feeling of nostalgia for you? It may be something from your childhood or something that reminds you of home or family.

2: Practical – Which brand do you feel is the most helpful or useful everyday? Perhaps it is something you use or think about when you’ve got a problem to solve or something that needs to get done.

3: Luxurious – We all have certain brands that appeal to us, even provide something special or aspirational in our lives. When you have that opportunity to spoil yourself, what is your guilty pleasure – or at least what would it be if you could afford it?

4: Trusted Whether it’s about quality, reliability or confidentiality, some brands exude more trust than others. Which brand epitomizes trust in a way that’s meaningful to you?

5: Simplicity – It’s perhaps one of the hardest qualities for a brand to achieve. Which brand delivers something simple and easy for you that makes it indispensable to your life?

6: Inspiring – Sometimes we see a product or an idea that is just amazing, innovative, and cool. It inspires us to think or act differently. Which brand has that effect on you?

7: Personal – We all have brands that are somehow special to us, a unique product we’ve discovered or a place we like to go. Which brand is a good example of something that is really personal to you?

8: Responsible – Brands for both profit and non-profit can drive change in the world – socially, culturally, environmentally, or even politically. Which brand most resonates with you and is making a positive impact on the world around us?

9: New – Sometimes we discover new brands that are really fresh and compelling. What’s the most recent brand you really connect with and want to share with friends?

10: Favorite – And, if you really had to pick, is there a number one, a brand that you just love? It could be motivating or inspiring, serious, or frivolous. But it’s a brand that means something personal to you – it’s OK, we won’t ask you why!

If you would like to share your brand profile, simply post your list to Salt’s Facebook page. You never know just who may be like you. Here are a few brand profiles from Saltines:




Aaron Edelberg