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The Power of Silence

Rose Herceg

Chief Strategy Officer

WPP Australia and New Zealand


The Power of Silence

I’ve always been intensely fascinated by how the world’s great keepers of safety use branding.

The CIA, FBI, NSA, DEA, MI5, MI6 and the rest. All are focused on protecting citizens, keeping secrets and defending borders. Terrorism never takes a holiday.

Most brands trip over themselves to communicate non-stop to their audience. They kill themselves to tell stories. Fill the space. Be famous. And popular.

But the “acronym brands” live in the shadows. Make no mistake, when you see their logo, you know exactly who they are and what they do.

But they speak only when absolutely necessary. They thrive in anonymity. And they live by that old Greek proverb: those that speak don’t know and those that know don’t speak.

They remind us that there is incredible power in speaking only when necessary. When the CIA or FBI speak up, everybody listens. Talk about the ultimate example of “leaning in”.  

Think about using silence as a brand communication technique. If there is nothing substantive to say, then don’t speak.


Silence can be the ultimate attention-grabbing weapon. Use it wisely. Use it well.