Creating the Most Interesting Brand in the World

Anne Smith, The Optimizer

Thirsting for the Reason to Build a Brand

We talk a lot about building brands. To those of us in the marketing world, that tactic makes perfect sense. But telling clients that they need to build their brand is probably a lot like my mechanic telling me that my car needs a new head gasket. I think it’s a big deal and is very important, but I don’t actually know why.

I was working on branding for a client recently and was reminded of an ad from one of my favorite campaigns. I realized it would make a great demonstration of how branding makes an impact on how you feel about a product.

The ad was for Dos Equis beer, from their “Most Interesting Man in the World” series. Love those ads, as apparently a lot of people do. (The MIMITW has scores of Facebook pages, each with more fans than I’ll ever have on my one lowly page.) I love the series because the ads are funny, but also because they sell the brand of Dos Equis.

So, what do those ads tell you about Dos Equis beer itself? Nothing. You don’t know that it’s most delicious at a certain temperature, best consumed by a certain date, or tastes great AND is less filling. You know nothing. In fact, if you’re not paying attention, you may not even know that Dos Equis is a brand of beer. The ads are designed to create a longing in someone who wants to be as interesting as the ads’ leading man and brand spokesperson. Emotional connection: If I drink Dos Equis, I will be as cool as that guy.

Do the Ads Work?

According to Dos Equis, sales increased in the U.S. every year since 2006, the year the ad series debuted, but there’s no way to know whether the increase can be directly attributed to Mr. Interesting or not.

Now, compare that ad series to another that’s well known. Ads for Corona beer feature the product more prominently, but they are still brand ads. Rather than the adventure and mystique of Dos Equis, Corona is all about relaxing, primarily on the beach. I had never tried Corona until about 15 years ago, when we were on vacation at the beach watching the sunset. My husband said, “I think Coronas would be appropriate.” He was right, and they were.

Just like the Dos Equis ads, nothing in Corona ads tells you how good the beer is or what kind of water is used to make it or how the hops and barley are blended just so. In fact, the Corona commercials rarely say anything. It’s all up to the viewer to make that emotional connection: If I drink Corona, I’ll be relaxed like I was vacationing on the beach.

Do the Corona ads work? Corona has been the best selling imported beer in the U.S. since 1997 and is regularly in the top 10 best selling beers in the U.S. overall. Maybe it’s the little slice of lime that’s driving sales, but I’ll bet it has more to do with that great beachy feeling.

Building a brand is much more involved than running clever TV commercials, but hopefully the comparison has given you a better idea of what we mean. Branding has to do with creating a brand story that consumers will connect with and desire, then delivering all aspects of that brand consistently. If you’ve got a thirst for improving the brand of your product, company, or organization, give us a call. We’ve got just what you need to quench it.

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