When you think of creating a new brand, it’s easy to picture advertising managers sitting around a conference room tossing any and all ideas at the wall. However, oftentimes, the most powerful branding comes from adding a little “fun” to your brand experience.
Driven by the Burger King mentality, today’s customers want to do business their way, on their time. They want to make their own choices. As business people, it’s our job to make sure then when customers are ready to make their choice, our product or service is their top choice.
Below are four secrets to putting some spark and imagination into your brand and creating an unforgettable brand experience.
Secret #1: Tell Your Company’s Unique Brand Story
Television shows have long been a part of our culture. When viewers watch television shows, they see stories about characters that they can relate to. Remember the Brady Bunch theme song? It tells the story of a lovely lady… well, you know how it goes.
Now imagine harnessing the power of storytelling for your business! By sharing your brand story, you create a powerful connection with your customers. They feel as though they know you. This brand story paints a colorful vignette of who you are, what vision you hold, and what experiences made you the company you are today. While your brand story might not be as catchy as the Brady Bunch tune, raving fans love to share stories of their favorite brands with others.
PartyLite is a direct sales company that has done a phenomenal job of weaving its brand story into its marketing message. Listen to the story of how this company got started.
“Mabel K. Baker, a young housewife, provided holiday candles for her friends. She hand-dipped candles from the wax of bayberry plants, which were plentiful on Cape Cod. From these humble beginnings, the Colonial Candle of Cape Cod was established. In 1973, PartyLite was established to satisfy the desire people have for home beautification, along with the ever-increasing need for additional family income.”
Now, can’t you just imagine Mabel sitting outside and turning her gaze over to the bayberry plants in her backyard? Surely a light bulb went off in her head as she picked berries off the bush and harvested the wax to make gift candles for her dearest friends. A story like this makes you feel like when you get a PartyLite candle, you are getting more than a factory-made product. Rather, you are getting a lovely crafted handmade candle. Great story and great marketing!
What’s your brand story? Do you have a wonderful story about how your business was started? Was there a turning point in your company that shaped you into the organization you are today?
Secret #2: Make Your Brand a Household Name by Coining the Term
Why define your brand experience in terms we already use? Kleenex, Xerox, and FedEx are companies whose brand names have set the standards for their industry by becoming the coined term to describe a tissue, making a copy, and overnight deliveries respectively.
So how do you go about making your brand a household name?
Marla Cilley, aka “The FLY Lady” is an organizing superhero for moms across the county. She has turned her passion for tidiness into a nationally known brand.
How did she do it? By adding an ounce of fun with her own unique terms and philosophies. For example, The FLY Lady stands for Finally Loving Yourself.
Fans of the FLY Lady know that she lives by three rules.
1) Don’t sweat the small stuff
2) Laugh every day. Even if it is at yourself.
3) Love like there is no tomorrow.
If you visit her website at FlyLady.net, you’ll notice that her brand is even reflected in some of the names of the navigation links: Why FLY, FLYing Lessons, FLY Zone, Time FLYs when, FLY FAQ, FLY Library, Join FlyLady Now, Ask FlyLady, and The FlyShop.
Secret #3: Add Your Unique Brand of Humor
Humor has the power to transform an ordinary product into a fun experience. Recently I saw a commercial for Red Stripe “The Great Jamaican Beer” that delivers an unforgettable quirky message.
The Jamaican spokesperson is dressed in a black tuxedo and says, “Red Stripe – the beer in the short stubby ugly bottle. If ugly people stand next to a Red Stripe they look beautiful.”
He speaks to a man who is sitting next to him, “You sir, would you say that you are ugly?
(Pause) You are VERY ugly!”
The man who is sitting down replies a little confused, “Well I don’t know…”
The spokesperson hands him a beer and says, “Here hold this Red Stripe.”
The man says, “Okay.”
The spokesperson says, “Look, you are beautiful!” (Obviously implying that just by holding this beer this formerly “ugly” man is transformed into being beautiful.)
The spokesperson says enthusiastically, “Red Stripe, it’s beer. Hooraaaayy Beer!”
The man cheers, “Hooray Beer.”
The spokesperson adds at the end, “…says the beautiful man.”
The point is, that although you may have never heard of Red Stripe beer before, humor helps you retain the brand.
That’s how a funny campaign can instantly turn a new or unknown product into a national phenomenon.
You should check out this hilarious commercial online at their website here:
Secret #4: Create your own Catch Phrases and Own Quotes
If you type the words “inspirational quotes” into Google, you will see that there are 1,130,000 listings. Quotes are hot! So why not tap into the power of quotes and catchphrases for your business?
Go back in your mind to the “Where’s the Beef” commercials from Wendy’s. That was a series of engaging and fun commercials that had the whole country asking themselves, “Where’s the Beef?”.
And think about Donald Trump’s “You’re Fired!” I’m sure that he had no idea that his show, “The Apprentice” would take off the way it did and become the “in thing.”
Start Building an Engaging Brand Experience
When you create a hot catchphrase or quote, you’ll find your words popping up on websites, in blogs, talked about in elevators, written on bathroom walls, and in the most unexpected places.
Take a moment to step back and really look at your company’s brand. With a little imagination, you can transform your product or service into a fun, one-of-a-kind brand experience that your customers will never forget.