What it says on the tin
We all want to develop meaningful brands, but somehow usually end up sliding down the well-slidden slope of clichés and conventions. I’m constantly thinking about how to develop brands that stand for something above and beyond product categories, generic functional – and arbitrary emotional – benefits, and how to bring it all to life without resorting to disruption and persuasion through messaging.
And so I came up with this little thought experiment which I think force us to think about and express brands in a different way:
Imagine that all of your customers are members of a very niche, very marginal political party, and that the only thing they all have in common is an ideology of some kind.
They wish to change society according to their ideals by focusing on one or two core issues. These issues are likely to be rather superficial, self-serving and trivial, and thus far from the type of issues that respectable members of society would consciously and actively fight for in the real world. But with an upcoming election they have to get clever about how they go about it.
Which is why they need your help.
Your brand’s task is to be elected as their leader.
Things you must consider:
Why should they elect you?
What values, world view and mindset do you share with the members?
What can you and your product do for the members and their cause?
How will you give them a voice, make them more accepted and respected in society? How will you promote and advance their ideology?
Who or what is your common enemy?
Your product is a powerful tool.
How will it become a powerful symbol that defines and unites the group, identifies its members and help these express their allegiance?
How will it become a low-barrier entry ticket for new members?
How can you change the product or any aspect of its services and processes to work even harder for what you’re trying to achieve?
How will you introduce a niche idea to a mainstream audience?
How will you convert them into supporters? Make them take action?
In a sea of empty promises and rhetorics. how will you get the cut-through and credibility required to be heard, noticed, remembered, trusted and cared about?
You’ve got one speech to make your case. What would you say? That is your strategy.
Here, your brand is all about an idea and the product’s features become trivial compared to its symbolic value. Emotional benefits are delivered not as generic emotional words, but as a set of complex set of unique and diverse feelings evoked in each individual as you promote and advance the ideals they care about.
It forced you to solve people’s problems in order to solve your own.
It forces you to think holistically. To be realistic. To focus on behaviour rather than words.
Does this make sense at all? What’s missing?