4 unusual measures of brand success

Awareness, trial, sales and profitability are all good measures of brand success but while doing researching for my new book of innovation stories, I got thinking about what might be some more of the unusual measures of brand success.

1. Going to the movies

Does your brand feature in the broader cultural landscape? Does it appear in the movies – without it having to pay for its placement? Is its tagline used in common parlance?, in the “It does what it says on the tin” is used. Are there T-shirts which parody the logo? – How many students have you seen with the infamous Cocaine T-shirt written in Coke classic copperplate script?

2. A visit to the tattoo parlour

At a conference hosted by The Value Engineers I asked the then global brand director of Lurpak about any slightly weird things that happened during his time on the brand. He mentioned that he had recently been sent a photo of someone with the Lurpak logo as a tattoo. It reminded me that Harley Davidson is one of the most common tattoos around the world and a great source of free advertising for them. There was also a piece in the Sunday Times about a slightly cynical reporter who visited Nike’s HQ to see if employees really did have a passion for the brand. Asking the design director if this was true, he was stunned when the director pulled down his sock to reveal directly where the Nike logo had been on his sock, a second swoosh tattooed onto his ankle

3. Love me or hate me

Brand success is generally linked to brands that can stir the emotions, but as we all know you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so those emotions can be positive and negative. Marmite famously harnesses the idea in their “love it or hate it” campaign but even before that ran, I used a sports brand example to highlight the point about appeal. I would ask people what was the most loved brand in British football and the answer was ‘Manchester United’ (this was back in Fergie days). I would then ask them what was the most hated brand in British football and you guessed it, the answer was of course ‘Manchester United’. 

4. You can call me Al.

My last one came from researching the origins of Dr. Martens. I came across apiece which talked about how the brand is known as Dr. Martens, DMs, Docs and Bovver Boots and that’s its trademarked Airwair Soles are also known as ‘Bouncing Soles’. Nicknames are often an indication of affection or may be attempted ridicule, either way there are another manifestation of an emotional response.  

This are four I’ve identified – what would you add?

Written by Giles Lury, Director, The Value Engineers