Branding Power Now

In a matter of days, a small video uploaded to YouTube by a small town mom garnered 141 million views and spread the awareness of Chewbacca from the movie Star Wars as far as any professional ad campaign could have. A political outsider dons a hat that reflects a simple message "Make America Great Again” fueling a meteoric rise to the presidential election. The power of branding is evident now more than ever. With so many media and advertising outlets and so much exposure, companies and organizations literally have the power of propelling their messaging and mission within their grasp each time they upload a video or publish a post. New media such as social platforms, video sites, and websites, along with classic channels such as newspapers, TV, radio, promotional giveaways and direct mail provide the foundation for branding initiatives to take flight from. By applying marketing savvy, intuition and a little luck, organizations large and small can make slogans, imagery and logos work for them harder than they ever could have imagined.

Much like a pop song with a great hook, slogans can become very sticky. The right slogan can create brand recognition with one view and live on in consumer’s memory long after an ad campaign has ended. One such slogan was born from a popular Wendy’s TV ad in the 1980’s. The simple question "Where’s The Beef?” gave notoriety to a fast food chain and led to a full line of t-shirts, keychains, posters and other branded products. Adults and kids alike were quoting the commercial, continuing the marketing lift in ways the company could never have predicted. Sometimes the simpler platform can prove to be the spark for a slogans rise. Donald Trump published a best-selling book titled "Make America Great Again” but ask anyone before the presidential race of 2016 if they knew who the author was and you would be hard pressed to find a correct answer. Fast forward to a promotional hat with a one color imprint perched upon Trump’s trademark hair and a new slogan star was born.

While the image of Chewbacca is an iconic part of the Star Wars universe, all the publicity efforts and advertising dollars spent could not return the kind of exposure that the video of Chewbacca Mom did. With 141 million views, this viral video has taken on a life of its own. The imagery of a young mother donning a fantasy mask struck a chord with viewers, sparking sharing through social media and eventually through mainstream media. Characters, products, components can all become marketing tools for companies, highlighting aspects of their makeup that will be adopted by users and distributors. By building awareness initiatives around these elements, companies can develop cult followings and loyalty in ways that traditional marketing could not.

Logos serve a basic branding purpose in a very subtly complex way. Some tell a story, some carry a legacy within their design and others are artistically simple. All can eventually evoke a feeling in consumers, instant brand awareness that is paired with understanding of what they are receiving when their purchase or service is associated with a particular logo. From the classic feel of Coca Cola to the modern simplicity of Google’s logo, these little works of art can become part of pop culture and fashion. Walk through a department store and you can see anywhere from a selection of logo t-shirts to entire branded departments dedicated to a corporate logo. For apparel companies, a logo is the differentiator between a simple shirt or handbag and a selection of luxury items. Given this fact, it is not hard to understand how even small businesses can leverage the power of custom wearables to create brand awareness in their markets and beyond.

Posted by Jack Davis