I have a sense there aren’t enough people out there having a blast with their brands. What’s that all about? Wassup?! OK. I’m giving you my top picks of two brands that nail it online, and my reasons why. It’s the thinking (brain and heart) behind the sites that’s so hugely pleasing. Why? They allure and intrigue, and they’re having fun along the way. But what keeps me going back for more? It’s their high energy levels. Take  a look:

1) It’s the vibe

The vibe – the energy and emotional resonance of your brand online – tells your story loud and clear. The bigger the energy, the bigger the feeling – the more you’ll find yourself literally leaning in closer (yes, closer to your screen) because you’re craving to know more.

Top Pick #1: www.MarcKoska.com* Marc Koska is on a quest. As inventor of the K1 syringe, a non-reusable syringe now used in India and other under-developed countries, he’s founder of the SafePoint charity, responsible for one of the largest global health campaigns ever, reaching an audience of 500 million people

As a global visionary, Marc makes things happen. His brand is visually bold, big and exciting online. Feel his high-energy level and passion on every link? You bet. This is the real power of authentic storytelling. Read ‘My Story’ and you understand how he thinks, feels and why he does what he does. His energy is carried across every aspect of a brilliant design platform. Watch his films, look at his photography, awards, the lot.  Immerse yourself.

What’s the vibe you get riffing through Marc’s site? Hugely inspirational, moving and highly charged, for starters.

So how can your brand inspire others? Identify your energy vibe and tap into the emotional core of what you’re doing. Then, spread the word. (This is a flash site. It’s not ideal for certain purposes but appreciate it for its vast visual and energetic storytelling capability.)

2)  It’s the tone of your voice

How relaxed are you about your language online? Does it sound like you or someone else? And what’s your tone, anyway? Speak in your own voice. It’s much easier for others to get a sense of who you are so they can start a dialog or suggest doing business, hire you or go out and play.

Top Pick # 2: www.duarte.com There’s something about Nancy Duarte. I like her language, the sound of her voice. I don’t know her but it’s actually the tone of her voice that keeps me going back for more.

As CEO and Principal, Nancy Duarte is on the cutting edge. She’s built an internationally respected design firm, created over a quarter of a million presentations and helps shape the perceptions of many of the world’s leading brands and thought leaders. Go through every inch of her site…

But first, listen to her language here: (Click on the TEAM link.)

We love whiteboard, sweet design, vegan cookies, bacon cheeseburgers, the afternoon regroup and the 4am idea. We believe in the power of a great story to move an audience and the power of an audience to change the world.

What’s the tone here? She talks with conviction and with a twinkle in her eye. She is in the business of transformation, after all. She’s not talking about designing a power point presentation for a keynote speaker at TED. She’s talking about why she does what she does, and the transformative power of story – and audiences – to change the world. That’s why you want to work with Nancy and her team. Their intention, desire and their willingness to do whatever it takes (to change the world) is clear.

So how can you share your mission with your world? Speak in your voice. Bring your intention and desire to the front. Then, let the tone of your voice nail it.

One more thing. Here’s Nancy’s answer to the following question: How would you define yourself? It’s the tone, again, that informs. P.S. It tells me she’s a master of visual storytelling and a magical creative thinker.

I’m a conquistador who liberates the undiscovered, sets boundaries for safe play, and builds fortresses where dreams can be realized. I create, protect and conquer the future with extreme respect and reverence for the past.

Start nailing your brand online and have a blast! P.S. Add a generosity of spirit, and it’ll be all the more alluring.


Mary van de Wiel is best known for her global expertise when it comes to coaxing out the real power in brands to dramatically increase sales. Van is founder and Creative Director of ZingYourBrand.com. She is the author of soon-to-be-published Dead Brand Walking: A Brand Therapist’s Viewpoint. Follow her on Twitter