Branding is about streamlining your company’s voice and leaving your mark on everything you touch, even the boring shit. A good brand can make formalities engaging while showcasing impressive attention to detail. Let’s take a look at some reputable brands that took a page out of Bareknuckle’s branding guide and made the boring shit awesome.
Safety & Disclaimers
Safety videos, contracts, disclaimers, terms and conditions ‘about’ pages–yawn. These formalities usually lack personality. Brands that take the time to have fun with paperwork are far more memorable.
Virgin Airlines – Virgin Airlines knows how to make you pay attention. Their safety video cleverly uses childlike illustrations and a satirical voice, mirroring that “here we go with this again” groan we all let out when the safety video comes on. The voice instructs passengers to put their damn seatbelt on : “For the .0001% of you who have never operated a seatbelt before, it works like this.” The animated character struggling with the seatbelt is none other than a bull fighter, ecstatic with his successful seat buckling as his frienemy the bull rolls his eyes. Simple humor that helps us remember the rules. Brilliant. Weapon of Choice: Cute illustration and satire
Lenovo – You wouldn’t expect a bright and lively Instagram page from a tech company, but Lenovo leverages the platform to demonstrate their values (i.e. their mission statement) with intriguing, zany images. Instead of letting their mission and vision statements gather dust in the “about” section of their site, Lenovo illustrates what they’re all about through original images and design. Weapon Of Choice: Unusual, captivating images on social media
The Job Description
One insanely overlooked area to brand is the job description. Despite call for employee candidates often being a candidate’s first experience with your brand, most companies are looking for the hardworking, loyal, creative can-doer. Not these guys:
Murder Burger – Murder Burger smacks you in the face with their personality and, if you can withstand that, you’re basically hired. The company successfully uses their candid sense of humor to describe expectations from employers and employees, something ideal candidates will likely find attractive. The reader gets a laugh right out the gate, explaining this job requires common sense, “which, as an aside, is something the people at Vodafone should learn.” Boom, the reader understands the personality of the company and can gauge whether or not these would be people she would like to work for. The employer punctuates the description with clear reference to templated job descriptions, saying “so if you’re looking for a challenge (whatever that means) and are an enthusiastic self-starter (whatever that means)…” Weapon of Choice: Authenticity
Nerd Co. Anonymous*
This company successfully perked the ears of its ideal candidates while simultaneously shattering all assumptions we hold of mathlete-types attempting to communicate to the outside world. They scrapped the description altogether and lured their kind with a challenge: a math problem just to get to the phone number. That’s a clever way to A) show their personality and B) weed out the idiots quick. Weapon of Choice: The Secret Password
*not actual name
Your Promotional Video / Social Media
Sometimes your boring shit is your product, but that doesn’t mean your brand has to be boring. In fact the more boring your product, the more fun you should have with your brand.
Blendtec: Will it Blend – Blendtec is most infamously know for taking everyday products, sticking them in a blender and testing if it will blend. In 2006 the company CEO Tom Dickson became an instant YouTube icon with the introduction of Blendtec’s Will It Blend videos. For over 10 years we’ve been watching this blender turn things to dust. From golf balls to an annoying Valentine gift, viewers can suggest things to blend, satisfying that “blow shit up!” urge we have in all of us. Weapon of Choice: A blender, obviously.
McKinsey & Company – McKinsey & Company, the global management consultant firm, uses cinematic storytelling to demonstrate the complex nature of what they offer. The short film is the first impression on the homepage, providing a glimpse into their digital, strategic and problem solving prowess. They also created a video to demonstrate the recent updates they’ve made to what they offer. They take fairly dull information and present it in clear, striking and memorable content. You see the passion for what they do and the impact their work has.
Weapon of Choice: Doubling down on their skills
Old Spice – Old Spice sells men’s soap, and nobody does it quite like them. The cheeky men’s soap company has gone viral because of their positive, light humor and focus on both the male and female audience. Half the time you forget they’re selling men’s shower products, and that’s their angle. Instead of focusing on direct sale, Old Spice puts their energy toward being hilarious and memorable. Weapon of Choice: Humor over hard sell marketing
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) August 1, 2017
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