Book Review: Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon

  Wondering how to build your brand for your business? If you are searching for a history of successful companies, large and small, than Primal Branding delivers an insider’s perspective. Author Patrick Hanlon, an avid journalist, spent years penetrating the barriers surrounding marketing secrets of thriving businesses.


In this brief book, you can learn the seven key factors to a unique identity. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a high-profile executive, arrange all seven to form a solid base to launch and grow your brand.


I am a pre-published author seeking to establish myself in the thriller genre as a professional with both a vision and a quality product. Primal Branding provided a series of steps to guide me through this process.


Here are the seven components to the Primal Code, plus one sentence I learned about each.


  1. Creation Story - each brand must tell the story of their beginnings. It must answer the question, “Where do you come from?” (Example: the “about” section of a company)


  1. The Creed - this is the spine which supports the whole brand. This should project the vision of what you want the company to become. (Example: the tagline for a company)


  1. The Icons - these are the images or sensory products that are instantly identified with your brand. They should be recognizable and distinct enough to leave an impression on the consumer. (Examples: logos, themes, and products)


  1. The Rituals - the interactions that your consumer has with your company and products. The goal is to maximize the number of positive occurrences your customer has with your company. (Example: online shopping or browsing)


  1. The Pagans - these are the opponents to what defines your company. It’s as important to identify your “unbelievers” as it is to define who you are. (Example: Pepsi Cola versus Aquafina.)


  1. The Sacred Words - the specialized jargon that only the insiders know. Every belief system has its own informal dictionary to distinguish itself from outsiders. (Example: Techie Talk)


  1. The Leader - who or what the mascot is for the brand. This does not necessarily need to be a physical person, but it could also be an ideology or trademark face. (Example: Betty Crocker)


I would rate this at 4 of 5 stars.


I did find this book to be a bit more of a history lesson than an instructional manual to brand yourself. Still, I would highly recommend it to other authors and entrepreneurs eager to set themselves apart in the crowded marketplace.