Dan Lowden
February 7, 2020

174: Finding Your Brand’s North Star

Guest: Dan Lowden - Chief Marketing Officer, White Ops

Sometimes, the big ideas sort of just happen. That said, some magical brand moment isn’t going to just appear without some planning or effort—but sometimes, some small bit of genuine authenticity can grow into a brand pearl. That’s part of what happened with White Ops, and on this episode, Dan Lowden, CMO, discusses how.

White Ops is fueled by their purpose-driven mission to disrupt the illicit economy built by cybercriminals; that mission has caught fire and stands as a sterling example of why purpose is a must. Tune in to hear about how they formed their mission, how they show it to the world, why they shun the hard sell, and how an overarching purpose came from a simple t-shirt that just read “human.”

In cybersecurity, a lot of folks follow the route of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. How have you approached your brand while trying to stand out?

So many cybersecurity companies out there—over 3000 of them—talk about their technology. They talk about their A.I., machine learning, things like that, but we talk about keeping it human. We want brands and enterprises to engage with humans because that way they’re going to be more successful. If you go to our website, our events, or speaking roles, we’ll all be wearing “human” shirts. Now, all of our customers want to wear the “human” shirt, too, because they want to be a part of this movement. Same goes for members of the press, the analysts, our partners. They believe that the human aspect of what we do is really, really important and they want to join in the fight by ensuring that they are giving the best real user experience possible. With over 200 customers that have joined us, people can see the positive impact of the message.

How did you take a tagline and evolve it into a purpose?

It grew from a pretty simple idea, starting with the “human” t-shirt, that is now ingrained in our culture. We have people all over the globe behind it, not just White Ops, and even had a “keep it human” float in the Halloween parade in New York City. We’re having a fun time with it and really believe in it because we know we’re having an impact. In a report we did with the A.M.A. called The Bot Baseline, we put a tag on brand sites to measure the amount of VAT fraud. We’ve seen this amount decrease over time and that’s because we’ve put so many tags out there. Today, we can determine the humanity of over one trillion interactions per week—soon to be one trillion interactions per day—and can figure out whether we’re dealing with a human or a bot in less than five milliseconds.


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