How brands thrive in turbulent times

Reading time: 5 minutes
Author: Keith Crook

In a world where nothing is guaranteed beyond tomorrow’s headlines, we crave certainty.  

Given the minefield that is politics and economics, we must look elsewhere to find what we know and trust. Sometimes we can find certainty in our family or our family dog. Sometimes we find certainty in our friends or our work, and sometimes we find it in brands.  

The brands that give us this certainty are those that genuinely serve us – that know who they are, and set about repeatedly proving it, regardless of the circumstances.   

If they do it well, we want them along for the journey, helping us get where we want to get, helping us become who we want to become.  

Conviction brands

At Keel, we call these brands “conviction brands”, and their purchasers are “believers”. (We tried calling them “convicts” but somehow that didn’t strike the right note.)  

You know the brands we mean – it’s the brands you believe in. The brands you can identify by their belief alone… 

If you have a body, you’re an athlete.
Travel is better when you experience it as a local.
Everyone is creative, they just need the tools.

Keith, our founder, always a bit of a show-off, built a quite well-known car brand around just one word: Safety.  

Patagonia, perhaps the best conviction brand of all time, wants nothing less than “to save our home planet” and has given away its $3 billion fortune for just that purpose.  

And that’s the point, conviction brands don’t just talk about their beliefs, they act. They provide concrete evidence of their belief. They provide proof.  

The big stuff and the small

Conviction brands prove it at every level; they show up for the big society stuff and the small-scale social. They demonstrate their value at work and at play. In offices and in pubs. On four wheels and two. In the snow and in the desert. In-store and online. Layering reason upon reason, doing it, proving it, time and time again. 

“Conviction brands don’t just talk about their beliefs, they act.”

Size doesn’t matter

Conviction brands can be big or small. Challengers or market leaders. Size, in this case, really doesn’t matter. As the old saying goes, it’s all about who you are, and what you do with it. But once you have it, once you really know who you are, things really take off. You better be ready!

Proof breeds confidence

Because here’s the thing about proof – it breeds confidence. It cuts through doubt. Not just for brand “believers”, but for brand owners and their agencies.    

When brand owners and agencies have proof of who the brand is, it’s also proof that the brand is robust and strong enough for any challenge. It creates coherence for all stakeholders. Everything hangs together and moves in the right direction. Proof empowers businesses to act with purpose and energy. Agencies to make great work. It emboldens everyone to stand up for a great idea. To make brave decisions, as the market context shifts. It fuels the creativity needed to change tactics, without getting lost. It provides certainty.   

Of course, having conviction isn’t always entirely stress-free (we wish), but it lights the path, which sure beats putting up a tent in a storm.   

You’ve probably guessed by now … it’s our conviction that every brand can be, and must be, a conviction brand.   

But getting clear on your convictions isn’t easy. Nor is creating a brand identity that celebrates that conviction. Nor is demonstrating it across every channel time and time again. 

And that’s where Keel comes in.

As an independent specialist brand and content agency, we help our clients identify their brand conviction, express that conviction, and act on that conviction, consistently across every channel. That’s all we do, every single day.  

We'd love to work with conviction for you.

Email Keith, our CEO, at 

He’d love to hear from you.