Monday, November 30, 2015

Is My Brand Boring You?

It has been repeatedly said that brands must be consistent in the execution of their identities and in their personalities and behaviors. That is, they must be predictable and reliable. This makes it easier to encode and decode brands and their primary associations in people's memories.  It also makes brands more trustworthy. After all, who wants a brand that they cannot trust?

Here is the primary problem with this mantra - most people get bored easily. They get bored of the same work tasks, the same household chores, the same weekend routines, the same foods, the same recreational activities, the same brands, the same everything.

So how then does a brand balance the need for consistency with the need to hold someone's interest? Consider GEICO. Remember GEICO's gecko? What an appealing character he was. Charming? Yes. Entertaining? Yes. And, as importantly, a device to get you to pronounce GEICO correctly. 

GEICO could have stayed with its gecko forever because he was working. But, they moved on. They moved on to other similarly amusing approaches to brand communication. No, it is not the gecko, but it is GEICO. Can they reinsert the gecko at any time in the future as often as they want? Sure, why not? Cameo appearances are fun. But, I think GEICO is on to something. Brands must evolve while maintaining their core character if they are to remain interesting and relevant. 

The trick is to determine what must remain consistent so as to maintain brand recognition and not to disappoint customers while also mixing it up so that people do not get bored with and move on from your brand.

I hope you will be able to identify and balance the right mix of consistency and spontaneity/evolution for your brand so that people will recognize it but not get bored by it.

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