Brand marketing – taking a stand “against” something

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It’s in every brand marketer’s job description to ensure their brand stands for something. That something (“one-thing”) that helps the brand stand out and apart from others in its space. It’s what’s expected. But what’s expected doesn’t always stand out and apart. Because, it’s expected.

So, why not take a stand against something. Go against the grain. Compel people to take notice. Like Mini Cooper’s doing. Its “Not normal” campaign from Butler, Shine Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif. pushes the brand’s peculiarity to stand out from brands like Chevrolet’s Spark. You can read the article here.

Tom Salkowsky, Mini’s marketing chief, says it’s a continuation of the brand’s long-time strategy of turning left while the rest of the auto companies turn right. “We’re a feisty, small brand. We’re a featherweight in the ring with heavyweights. We have to stick and move,” he said.

Good advice for all brand marketers regardless of category, as:

• most brands really are the “feisty, small brands”

• who are duking it out with heavyweights with resources to match

• and who must leverage everything in their marketing toolbox to tell and demonstrate their story in ways that ultimately enrich people’s lives

The essence of a great story (great brand story) is that it takes you in a different direction from the one you expect. It invites the reader (the consumer) to think in an unexpected way. Sort of like going against the grain and “standing against something.” Like Mini!

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand consulting and marketing agency specializing in creating momentum for customers, brands and businesses across the related categories of health, wellness and beauty.

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