Why Branding Is Like The Sopranos
You’ve heard it a million times before; how important a unified brand is. Everyone says they get it, but realistically, few do. The best parallel I can think of is: Your brand is like the Sopranos family.
No, seriously. Think of your brand as a crime family. Your brand is comprised of various ‘touch points’; ways in which you interact with your target audience. Anything from a commercial, to an invoice, a news release, website, even a logo. The bigger the brand, the more touch points. Imagine these little touch points as individual people, with individual purposes…now you’ve got a crime family.
Don’t mess with us, we run New Jersey
The bigger the family, the more people. You want each touch point to convey the same message every time, in the case of the Sopranos “Don’t mess with us, we run New Jersey”. It needs to be conveyed by everyone, from the capos down to the soldiers. In the case of your brand, it’s probably something along the lines of “great service” or “the best products in the industry”. Point is, that message needs to be conveyed loud and clear through every communication your company puts out.
Keep it consistent…or else
Problem is, with all these little communications, sometimes they get muddy if you’re not careful. Different color scheme here, logo used incorrectly there, ugly brochure, even a poor customer service call. These all make your end consumer have a confusing interaction with your brand. That’s not good. A confusing interaction means your brand isn’t memorable, or worse, it’s not a brand to be taken seriously.
So how do I fix my brand?
To bring it back to my metaphor: Sopranos, season five. Remember Tony’s cousin, Tony Blundetto? Played by Steve Buscemi (Yeah that guy from Boardwalk Empire). He shot someone in the New York crime scene without Tony’s knowing, which is bad news since that makes Tony’s New Jersey crime family look REALLY bad to New York. THEN! He killsPhil Leotardo’s brother, also without Tony’s approval. It sends a confusing message to the New York crime family, and it ends up starting a war between the two families. So what does Tony do to protect his brand’s integrity? That’s right, he kills his cousin.
Okay, I’m not suggesting you go killing cousins for the sake of your brand, but I am saying that you need to figure out the weak points in the brand, from your business cards to your websites, and put some cement shoes on them.