Branding: Thinkering and Tinkering
• Pepsi decided the world had enough of the Pepsi vs. Coke conversation and decided to do something much bolder. The company started its Refresh Project, which took its brand story out of soda machines and grocery store aisles and notched it up several levels. The beverage giant connected with its customers' intrinsic desire to make the world a better place. By daring to reposition its brand as an activist—one out to not only quench thirsts but refresh communities—Pepsi changed the game. What can your brand do to refresh the playing field it competes within?
Reintroduce and re-educate
• Sometimes bad brand experiences make customers shut down from a category altogether. It's the beleaguered "who wants the hassle … every company is the same" mentality.
If your brand indeed plays differently from all the rest, you may have to spend some time reintroducing yourself to lapsed customers or even introducing yourself in a whole new way to prospective ones. That's exactly what Chase did with its "We'll have you at 'Hello'" campaign for the Sapphire credit card, which promises that an expert advisor will answer customer calls, and there will be no machines or buttons to push. The bank strives to stand out on service and developed a clever approach to reconnect to jaded customers.
• Financial services firm ALLY uses a three-word, short and sweet headline to tell a story that will stick with customers: "Best Savings Account" (as ranked by Money magazine). That's it. A straightforward and clear reminder of why you should do business with it versus all of its competitors. Do you need to remind your customers you're not like the rest? How will you do it in a memorable way?
• We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. But how well do we put that concept into practice when telling our brand story? Major Mom, an entrepreneurial professional organizing company, knows that the business it's really in is the revitalization business … the revitalizing of people's spirits! Its testimonials include sentiments like, "This has been a very freeing experience," and "I now feel I not only have more space everywhere, but also I can breathe better." And "Thank you for giving us our sanity back (whether we realized it was missing or not!)" These before-and-after stories in words and pictures convey the real essence of the company's brand mission.