Does your brand have a Big Audacious Meaning?


Great brands are great not because they have chosen the right typeface. Or aligned with the right celebrity. No, great brands have defined something in themselves that we all yearn for.

That something is meaning.

It is something more profound than, “We’ll save you money.” Or, “You’ll appreciate the value.” It is something that can change lives. Change communities. And change the world around us. Is that ridiculously ambitious? If you think so, you’ll never get your brand to be freakin’ awesome.


Freakin’ awesome brands don’t just have meaning, they have Big Audacious Meaning (BAM!). Like I said, it’s something that aspires to make a big difference. That can happen in one of two ways:

  • A focus on making a difference in the world
  • A focus on making a difference in an individual life

A focus on making a difference in the world

Creating BAM! takes vision. And the willingness not to settle for lightweight branding. An example is a salt brand my company helped. The brand could have aspired to the the most efficient ice melter. But the Big Audacious Meaning was to understand the larger role the brand played. It helped ensure loved ones could return safely to their family. It actually helped save lives (department of transportation reports proved it). It played a role in making the world a safer place. That’s huge. That’s an idea that can ignite a passion in both your customers and your team members.


A focus on the difference you can make in an individual life

BAM! doesn’t have to start big. It can begin at a very personal level. An example is an insurance brand that my company helped. They could have said that they existed to help their customers protect against the unexpected. That’s what you’d expect from an insurance company. And you’d probably yawn and move on if you heard that. But they wanted something more inspiring. They wanted the BAM! We helped them discover that their purpose wasn’t just to help people play defense. The brand’s purpose was to help people make the most of life. Think about that. What could a person do knowing they had an advocate who was helping them advance rather than just protect. The brand set out to help people imagine what life could be. And then to help them work toward it. That’s a brand that has a larger meaning. A meaning that can make a big difference in an individual life.

Bringing the BAM!

Think about what your Big Audacious Meaning could be. Better yet, bring someone in with experience who can pull your leadership team together to discover the BAM! (yeah, that was a shameless pitch for what I do.)

Your BAM! has a magical affect on your team members, inspiring and motivating them. Imagine coming to work every day knowing you are making a difference in the world or in an individual life.

Most importantly, your Big Audacious Meaning creates something irresistible in your brand. Something that is magnetic in how it draws in prospects and customers. Because people are yearning for meaning. Your BAM! helps fill that desire. That’s powerful stuff.

That’s bringing the BAM!

Dan Salva is a co-founder of Will & Grail, with more than three decades of experience in brand marketing and developing and implementing go-to-market strategies. He can be reached at

ProcessDan Salva