Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Brand Tags

In lieu of actually writing something interesting (which I haven’t done in a while), I’ve decided to release a 70% done project. It’s called Brand Tags and the idea is simple: You tag brands with the first thing that comes to mind. The idea came to me as I was working on my Brand vs. Utility presentation a few months ago. The thinking went something like this: If brands exist as the sum of all thoughts in someone’s head, then if you ask a bunch of people what a brand is and make a tag cloud, you should have a pretty accurate look at what the brand represents (see picture below).

wal mart brand tags

I’ve been testing it for a bit, so it’s pre-populated with about 30 logos and a bunch of tags. But go play and add more please. And if you have any logos in particular you’d like me to add, leave a comment or drop me an email.

Update (5/9/08): After a bit of success with this, I decided to start up Celeb Tags as well. Same idea. (And I need more celeb ideas if you’ve got any.)

May 9, 2008


  • avin says:

    love the idea behind this.

    would be curious to see tags/responses to social media brand logos (the obvious ones like facebook or myspace, but even some smaller/newish ones like brightkite, socialthing…).

    imagine this could be a pretty compelling visual aid for a client…you spent so much time/money thinking your brand means this, well, here’s what people think. now what?

    good stuff, will def keep checking back.

  • Noah Brier says:

    Thanks so much avin, myspace/facebook are good ideas, will add those . . .

  • Margaret says:

    Hi Noah,

    Great idea and I’m loving the execution of it. Reminds me of a simplier version of Love Marks.


  • Andy says:

    really like this mate. very simple, very interesting.

  • Christian F. Hermansen says:

    The ultimate must be to be linked to its own brand – like google, where several mentions google as the first that comes into mind

  • johnny sha says:

    this is a great tool, and i could see it on every consumer facing companies’ webpage. It could also be a prerequisite to signing onto a site, or entering a contest, or even posting a comment.

  • Noah Brier says:

    Thanks so much everyone, glad you dig it. :)

  • Walter Pike says:

    Now this is a really good idea, simple and powerful.

    I want to use it.

  • Lindsay Sue says:

    This could be a great facebook application!

  • liz lennon says:

    This was not only interesting but very illuminating.

    How did you design it? Is there some cool open source app or did you sweat over a hot computer and build it yourself.

    Congratulations – it’s deceptively simple.


  • Evan says:

    Like it a lot, Noah. Keep it up.

  • jason says:

    feels like a facebook focus group. very smart.

  • Benton says:

    I like everyone else here loves the idea man. Working with a company like a google or a naked to mashup a free rice concept with this would make it pretty fancy. Or incentivise with free Journey songs everyone loves Journey.

  • David Airey says:

    Nice idea, Noah. I’ve gone ahead and added a few tags, and enjoyed browsing a few too.

  • Charles Frith says:

    Bright idea!

  • MANU SHARMA says:

    hi noah i quite liked ur idea.i would request u to share its success.

  • David says:

    Great idea! Too bad the results seem to have been flooded with juvenile cursing, because I think this was a very clever experiment. I’d love to see a “safe search” version of the results.

  • CP says:

    Noah, thank you for creating this. It’s not only a great time-sink but a great way to see how others interpret various brands. Keep up the great work!


  • dasickis says:

    You should restrict punctuations and spaces in the tag box so that multiple words and similar words don’t make it to the tag cloud. Make everything lowercase, if it’s not already. For example, in Nike (swoosh & swoosh!) are both the same word but shown differently. Also, if you do want to allow spaces (even though it says 1 word) split it up and treat every word differently. The best way I see this is using a php function to match /^[a-z]+/ and throw out everything else (I’m not sure of the actual PHP regex syntax, I always have to look it up).

  • zach mattheus says:

    Reminds me of the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    by Jonathan Safran Foer, where the main character’s neighbor keeps a card catalogue of sorts of all the people he’s ever come in contact with described with one word.

  • xgeronimo says:

    brilliant idea. it works with anything: political parties, tomato sources, etc.

  • Martin Buckland says:

    Unique idea!


    Simple is best.

  • Innovagon says:

    Fantastic project!
    Beste regards

  • James Hurman says:

    Noah this is an amazing idea. I’m from New Zealand and a lot of the brands I work on are native ones. Is there any way to syndicate the technology for local use? I’d love to be able to do this for local NZ brands with NZ consumers. I’d also love to be able to compare local perceptions of a brand like Vodafone with global ones. Please let me know if there’s a way to get involved. Cheers.

  • Alex says:

    A quick observation on celeb tags: It seems that male celebrities elicit tags with more positive connotations than their female counterparts. Obviously there are exceptions, but on the whole, the women seem to be getting the bulk of the criticism (e.g. “whore”). Probably due to the misogynistic double standard of female celebs being cultivated as sex objects while society on the whole refuses to liberalize its mode of thinking about sex.

  • Courtney Kuehn says:

    Somehow I missed this in the beginning of May and just heard about it now via trendcentral. To repeat what everyone here has said so far – it’s great, very insightful, and easy to use and understand. Nice job. Will you ever tweak the clouds so that we can see the teeny tiny words? Say by scrolling they pop up?

  • Jorge Martinez says:

    I heard of Brand Tags a few days ago and think the concept is so simple, I love it. It’s one of those ideas that could live in so many forms (assuming the subject is chosen carefully). Some that come to mind are 2008 presidential candidates, political figures, celebrities (I know you have this one covered already).

    Good job,

    Jorge Martinez

  • Bruno Carre, Brussels, Belgium says:

    Hi Noah,

    it’s a great tool, reminds me of the combination of simplicity and awesomeness (is that an English word…?) of Google engine search, only for brand professionals

  • Maura says:

    Hi Noah,

    Great site, really interesting concept. I’m curious if you have any information on users of the site. Basic demo information like age, gender, geographic location. How many users are participating in the site?

    Just curious, who the people are that are making these brand associations.


  • Lars D. Forseth says:

    Very nice idea and project!
    How about adding some of the famous university brands such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT,…?


  • Seema Padfield says:

    This is a nice web site and I wanted to post a small thread to let you know, nice work!

  • Rob says:

    What happened to brand tags? It’s all streamlined and slick looking :) Nice stuff… but I will miss the 12 pages of random adjectives people came up with.

  • Brand Tags Update | Noah Brier dot Com says:

    […] years ago (wow, that’s insane), I launched Brand Tags with a short little blog post on this site. Here’s what I wrote at the time: In lieu of actually writing something interesting (which I […]

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