When I think of great brands … megabrands like Apple and Harley-Davidson … I don’t think of bland. My mind swirls with images that are in vivid technicolor!
But what about smaller businesses, without mega-agencies and megabucks behind them? How can they create killer brands?
I am inspired by 3 stories this week, featuring smaller businesses who found creative ways to stand out in their markets. The best part: a good idea doesn’t have to cost a bundle, it just has to resonate with your customers.
1. Miami Beach parking garage owner Robert Wennett essentially redefined his category, with remarkable business results.
As Bill Taylor describes it:
“…this parking garage truly is breathtaking, so much so that it has become an in-demand venue for charity events, wine tastings, even fancy weddings. The top two floors were designed to both hold cars and host events, and they rent for as much as $15,000 per night. “This is not a parking garage,” owner Robert Wennett told the Times. “It’s really a civic space.”
As marketing pros Alan Deeter and Rich Goidel from The Dangerous Kitchen say, …”when a brand acts as a cultural leader for the people in its market, it’s a killer brand”. By rethinking the category, Mr. Wennett did just that.
2. The Shepard Group insurance agency owner Neil Shepard created a company blog with a dramatically different personality than you’d expect.
The underlying message is that TSG is an agency that is fun to work with, and is capable of solving customer problems by thinking outside the box. Bonus: by being unique and memorable, they gain competitive advantage. (story via blogger and publicist Danny Brown, here):
3. The Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin,Texas created a series of PSA’s that have gone viral on You Tube. By creating a brand that is so cool, that just liking it confers status to the end user, they separate themselves from every other theater out there. (Story via The Communicatrix blog, by Colleen Wainwright).
The Bottom Line: Say No to Bland!
Purple cow, point of difference, unique selling point… whatever you call it, one thing is clear: be different and we will remember you. Be awesome and we will tell others about you. Promote your difference in a way that no one else does, and you create a killer brand, leaving your competition in the dust.
If these businesses can break out of a sea of sameness, you can too. All it takes is just one powerful, creative idea!
PS: Know a brand that became memorable with 1 great idea? Share your stories here!