Everybody wants to be liked. The need for social acceptance is something we all long for and we feel conflicted when we don’t have it. It’s natural to want to conform and avoid uncertainty. However, if we apply this theory to business then being unaccepted actually becomes a strong brand.
For example, when Dollar Shave Club launched it did so through YouTube videos using off-beat, sarcastic humor that many office cultures frown upon. The company went against the current of normal and created its own wake.
Or consider Poo-Pourri (you read that correctly), a real product with a hilarious marketing video that eliminates those less-than-desirable bathroom odors before the next person comes in after you and gags. It essentially took something that nobody thinks about and turned it into a must-have product.
The good news is there’s a method to the madness that each of these examples used in their “anti-social” marketing behavior that brought them success. Here are four mad practices to adopt for your company to create your own wake of (anti-)sociability:
1. Sell the inappropriate.
Studies show that people remember brands that are funny, which explains why more and more marketers are using “inappropriate” (I hate that word) humor. It helps the message stick. We’re more likely to remember an offbeat ad compared to a standard (read boring) one. Consider Super Bowl commercials and the expectation they’ll be unique.
Second, making bold, offbeat statements tells consumers that your brand stands for something, and in today’s world where conscious capital rules, people want to be associated with a higher purpose that they can identify with. Doing so requires leaders to make bold decisions.
2. Don’t sway.
There’s nothing worse than inconsistent branding. The more consistent the message, the stronger the brand and the easier it is to attract the right customers. In his famous TED talk, Simon Sinek shared that a key component of strong brands is the ability to attract buyers who believe what the brand believes and stands for.
3. Employ a mascot.
That’s right. The Geico Gecko is probably one of the most effective “mascots” representing a single brand. What’s the big deal about the lizard? It’s reach. Specifically, this little cartoon character can get into the minds of children and adults alike and everyone will know who he is and what he represents. Additionally, the possibilities are endless in terms of using humor, consistency and “stickiness” in the company’s messaging.
4. Create share-worthy content.
It’s hard to believe there are still people out there who question the effectiveness of social media in helping a brand share its message. Check out this tweet by Delta airlines — hilarious! Amidst an industry plagued with customer dissatisfaction for missed flights, no peanuts onboard and mishandled luggage, Delta still manages to send a positive message about what it represents: a fun airline (if you had asked me what Delta represented 10 years ago, “fun” would not have been on that list).
A strong brand requires consistency, uniqueness and courage on behalf of leadership to take a stand and represent something they believe in.