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Keep your head up: How attitude affects brand essence

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This week, a compilation video of a high school student repeatedly greeting his classroom with a huge smile on face went insanely viral. Want a quick mood lift? What shocked the twitterverse into nearly 2 million engagements within the course of a few days was not his simple greeting, but instead, his consistently positive attitude.

As shown by this moment of internet hysteria, the world is longing for happy. Being a positive team player can make or break a brand. Something that is so commonly forgotten is that attitudes, such as positivity, directly affect brand essence. Brand essence is the experience of a brand or the gut feeling that is associated with it. When a person experiences a brand, they develop an emotional reaction to it.

Don’t just take it from us. Copywriting legend Luke Sullivan put it best:

“If you ask a guy in a bar, ‘Hey, talk to me about cars’, he’ll break it down to one word- usually an adjective.

‘Yeah, gonna get me a Jeep. They’re tough.’

‘Porsches, they’re fast. BMWs perform. And Volvos, they’re . . .’


If you said ‘safe,’ you’ve given the same answer I get from literally every person I’ve ever asked. Ever.”

For a brand like Volvo, a feeling of safety is evoked for the audience. Seems simple enough, right? Well, not so much. So many brands fall short because they lack a clear idea of what their brand essence is. Or perhaps they lack a clear vision of the roots of their company: employee attitudes and interactions. Emotional reaction is a direct offset of attitude- and no one represents a company better than its employees.

How employees exchange ideas and interact on a daily basis is a dead giveaway of brand essence. At Sandlot, team members often engage in light-hearted conversation with one another, but still have a sense of focus and direction. This positive perception mirrors brand essence. Even if you think personal attitude doesn’t really matter, or that it only affects you, just remember that a simple addition of positivity can go a long way. Whether it is shown through a simple greeting in the morning or encouraging a coworker, having a positive attitude affects the perception of a brand more than you may think. Even if your brand essence isn’t defined by positivity, the ways in which members of a team interact with one another can be used as a valuable tool to determine what your brand essence is.