What is a Fractal anyway?

“Hey Gerard, why did you call your new agency ‘Fractal’ ?”

In mathematics a fractal is an abstract object that is used to describe and simulate a naturally occurring object, think, snow flakes, pine cones or trees. Artificially created fractals commonly exhibit similar patterns at increasingly small scales. Fractals are different from other geometric figures because of the way in which they scale.

“Um, yeah that’s great and I understood about 1/3rd of that, so why call an Agency ‘Fractal’ ?”


For a start I don’t think you can every really ‘own’ your brand if you don’t own your domain. Shout out to Jen @ EverGreen.com who helped me come up with and secure Fractal.com.au.

I’m always horrified that companies will spend thousands, even millions of dollars marketing a brand while not owning the corresponding domain name. Your domain name is your real estate for the digitsal age. You wouldn’t build Queen Street Plaza and stick it on King Street, right?
n.b registering yourbrand.io or therealyourbrand.com is a cheap and doomed alternative.

Secondly, I love a brand that is flexible. Right now Fractal is a Startup marketing agency, but maybe we’ll expand from just startups into corporate disruption. If I’d called the brand startupagency.com.au, sure you’d know what I did, but I’m forever trapped as being ‘just’ a startup agency. I describe these exact match domains/brands as ‘a 0-60 strategy’.
Sure, startupagency.com.au will gain traction faster than Fractal.com.au, but only one of these brands has the power to go beyond 60 😉

Third point is the Fractal Art. I just love the way Fractals look, the symmetry is pleasing and reassuring.

Forth point is that Fractal is a great conversation starter; most people I meet have some idea of what a fractal is, and everyone recognises it when they see it. (I’m having flash backs to Ethan Hawke and Alanis Morissette trying to define Irony here) But the definition of Fractal is steeped in such advanced Maths that I’m yet to meet anyone who can really define a Fractal and explain all of its many applications and occurrences.

Finally, I like the hidden meanings I can place behind a brand like Fractal.

Take the example below.

This tree is created by taking the letter ‘Y’ and then turning each ‘branch’ into the ‘trunk’ of the next ‘Y’.
Do you see it? The ‘Y’ scale in progressively smaller, yet matching patterns to create a tree, cool right?

Then I can go on to talk about ‘Simon Sinek’ and his great book about starting with ‘Why’ (Why = Y) and apply that to startups. (But that is a post for another time). Or I can talk about the scaling of fractals and align that to the scaling of marketing tactics. Fractal is the ultimate conversation segue from who I am to what I do 😉

If there is one thing I don’t like about the brand, it is that the ‘Fr’ sound can be hard to hear in conversation when I first use it. But that’s a small price for a new brand that ticks all the other boxes.

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