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Branding Leads to Top-of-Mind Awareness


Pretend for a minute that I’m a game show host on the popular Family Feud, and I’m going to ask you to give me the top answer to 5 questions in 20 seconds. Previously, I had surveyed 100 people and compiled the top answers to each.

In truth, I didn’t survey 100 people: I went around the office and asked my coworkers and a few of our cheerful clients. The questions I asked all related to brands associated with products and services.

The results are far from scientific, but I bet you’ll find yourself agreeing with some of their answers.

1. Name the best car insurance.

Answer: GEICO.

Whether it’s their reptile mascot from Australia, England, or parts unknown, the humpday camels, or the extremely southern, talking pothole, GEICO has for years made commercials entertaining and memorable. Their Gecko is such a well known part of their brand that even a blooper commercial works.

Second place: Allstate. Who can resist Dennis Haysbert’s deep voice?

2. For this year’s resolution, what weight loss program will you start?

Answer: Weight Watchers.

The clear winner has been a go-to for people battling the bulge for decades. I love this ad, which combines our fascination with celebrity with the authenticity of “real people.” Jennifer Hudson lost 80lbs during her tenure as Weight Watcher spokesperson.

Second place: Nutrisystem. Because Dan Marino says so.

3. It’s lunchtime. Which canned soup will warm your belly?

Answer: Campbell’s Soup.

With a dash of Warhol and a smidge of “M’m! M’m! Good!”, the iconic soup maker was the top choice. The “M’m! M’m! Good!” slogan has been in circulation for the company since 1935. And chicken noodle is still a favorite in the office.

Second place: Progresso. It’s purported to be healthier.

4. When you’re in need of a caffeine fix, what coffee should you drink?

Answer: Folger’s.

Modern commercials use pop music, but it was the classic jingle, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” that put this coffee at #1. Sing along with this commercial (link to: 1989.

Second place: Starbucks. If it had a catchy jingle, it could have been #1.

5. If you’re irregular, what should you use?

Answer: Activia.

We all love Jamie Lee Curtis and her … yogurt. She made pro-biotic an everyday word and got people talking about their regularity.

Second place: Metamucil. For personal experience.

What makes them so successful?

These brand campaigns are successful because they are memorable and connect with their audience. When thinking about developing your brand, remember:

  1. Know your audience.
    Determine who you want as a customer. If you use a spokesperson, ensure it is someone with whom your audience can identify, like Jennifer Hudson with Weight Watchers or Jamie Lee Curtis with Activia.
  2. Know your identity.
    Is your company culture stodgy or hipster? Perhaps your product has broad reach, but you need targeted messaging. Try GEICO’s strategy of developing different messaging for difference groups. They are always selling themselves as an affordable, dependable insurance, with a mix of humorous, quirky, and sometimes serious commercials.
  3. Know your goal.
    If you are selling a product or service, don’t fall into the trap of using a slogan with generic terms like quality or integrity. It’s expected that you’re selling a quality product and working with integrity. Instead talk about what feeling you want to illicit in the customer. Campbell’s and Folgers nailed it decades ago with messages that still work.

Need help creating your brand identity? We can help! Call the quirky group of Red Sagers at 256-560-0098 to get started today!


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