Teeth! Hair! Feet!
This morning, Hugh Macleod at Gaping Void sang the song that never ends in branding: the idea that mundane brand positioning can make you special in the eyes of your potential buyers.
Imagine writing a singles ad for your very best friend, and describing her as “covered with skin, has two eyes, and walks upright . . .”
Yaaay, a human!
If you wrote that ad, what kind of response would you expect your friend to get? What, you mean touting the most basic characteristics of all humans doesn’t make your friend seem special, or more importantly–don’t capture her most appealing qualities–the ones that make her a truly remarkable woman?
Branding your business is no different.
“Value, service, quality, efficiency, ‘our people make the difference’, ‘you come first’, low prices . . .” do not a brand make. Actually they do make a brand: a very generic and unmemorable one that blends in with the rest of your competition and underperforms. Truth is, though they aren’t always delivered, consumers expect all of these basic attributes from companies, so stating the obvious gives you no traction with them, and only ends up muddying the waters in your brandscape vs. clarifying your company’s unique position in it.
Your friend is wonderful and appealing because she once saw an old couple celebrating their 50th anniversary over a shared plate of tacos at a Mexican restaurant, and decided to send a bottle of Champagn, a flan with a birthday candle, and the Mariachi band over to their table, then paid for it all. That’s what makes her special–not the fact that she maintains a body temperature of 98.6 degrees.
Your brand has a similar story to tell people–those sometimes not so obvious details about your product and service that truly define your value, and make people want to do business with you–that’s the song you need to sing.
Now go out and sing it.
Be bold and prosper.