I downloaded an episode of Tom and Jerry today because I wanted to see something on my laptop that is funny and brings the child out of me. Many of us who grew up using great brands, watching Dallas and listening to timeless music aka Luther Vandross will surely know the classic cartoon, Tom and Jerry, those two dysfunctional , can not do without each other cat and mouse. Created in 1940, by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna, the Tom and Jerry cartoon has entertain children and adults alike for the past 70 years. This classical brand is an icon in cartoon entertainment. Analysing how this brand has captivated audiences, young and elderly alike, I can across the following ways that companies can create such timeless, funny and memorable, easy to love brands.
Make your customers smile
Brands that are easy to love are those that bring out the smile in us, that tickle our funny bone, that warm our hearts when we touch, hear, see them , smell them. These brands that we love are corporate fighters, full of pleasant surprises, them make us feel good about ourselves and others, and make us want to see more of their creativity. Through product innovation, clever marketing and communication messages, these brands enable us to identify with them throughout time. As we grow older, they do not lose their appeal, because they keep up us smiling.
Creating brands that people love should be a focus of every company, every R&D, Operations and Marketing department. Selling brands that people want should be the goal of every CEO, Sales managers and Front line staff. Board members should equally be concerned about the products that their companies are marketing, because brand love creates brand loyalty which feeds corporate pockets. By knowing what your customers are thinking and expecting, you will know how to make them smile. By giving them what they want, engaging them and now, through channels such as social media, your company will be able to create such products.
Create brands that are ageless
Tom and Jerry was created many years ago, but generations of the young and the elderly have been entertained by a mouse and a cat, and some of us still seek out doses of the cartoons ever so often. To create a brand that is ageless requires hard work. Generation Y considers brands that are iconic to be uncontrived, and authentic. They are viewed as more trustworthy. Customers are tired of being lied to, of the quick sales pitch and of products that do not do what marketers say they will do.
An ageless brand organises its messages around a core theme that its target markets identifies with. Take Chanel no 5. That image of beauty, classic fashion sense, elegance, vulnerability and strength and a tantalising scent. What woman can resist! Take the Mercedes Benz. People of all ages have been drawn to it, men and women of power and leisure , succumbing to its promise of an unparalleled driving experience.
To create an ageless brand, know your audience and create a theme and messages that your target ages can identify with. While your product may alter, your brand values and your message of uniqueness should remain the same so as to inspire and create a passion to possess, a passion that your customers can identify with over time.
Create a Brand that is timeless
I had a good laugh and after the stresses of the day, I feel much better. Tom and Jerry cartoon left me tickled and sympathizing with poor Tom, who always seems to come off badly against cunning Jerry the mouse.
Brands that are timeless transcend time itself. They were, they are and they will be there for the foreseeable future. The products and services may alter, but the brand essence, identity and brand personality remains the same. Our mothers and fathers used them, we use them and perhaps our children will use them in whatever form.
Creating a timeless brand requires that a company knows its underlying reason for existence and the customers that it wants to serve. It also requires that a brand does not define its market segment so narrowly that the brand looses meaning as markets and environments change. Gucci , Burberry , Lancôme, Pepsi, FedEx, Wall-Mart , Barclays Bank, are brands that have survived the ravages of time and still stand strong in today’s competitive environment. They evolve but remain the same in the most essential values that their customers love.
Creating a timeless brand means evoking a memory from the past to trigger the need to buy today, creating hopes, dreams and benefits in the future to create the need today, learning from the past, but not holding on to the past, and taking actions today that creates hope for the future.
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