Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brand Stamps

I would like to share some words of wisdom with all the tech savvy, non-classically trained social media marketing experts out there, specifically as it relates to branding. The message: “Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing until you get there” – Margaret Carty

Read On:
Marketers are utilizing social media tools to reach their customers enabling them to sustain and build their brand’s reputation. Thanks to the Internet, their ability to reach more consumers globally has increased radically. However, with everyone competing against direct or indirect competitors for consumers’ attention, it is now more important than ever to carefully fine tune your social media strategy. For starters, remember you cannot be all things to all people. Revisit the core essence of your brand, better known as your brand’s DNA, a topic I first addressed in my blog
Luxury Brands Rock Asia.

The DNA of a strong brand is all about two significant components. A perfect example is
Cirque du Soleil:

Code – What does the brand stand for? What is its core promise? Cirque du Soleil is a theatrical circus, absence of animals, but continuous live music and performers, rather than stage hands changing props.

Cue – The sensory signals that capture the attention of consumers. Consequently, credibility is developed over time, thanks to authentic, consistent performance – 19 shows in 40 plus countries on every continent except Antarctica, spanning 26 years.

Somewhere in the branding process, marketers lose their patience/focus. Brand Ego sets in, brand refreshment ensues. Marketers begin deviating from their brand’s core promise. Remember New Coke? I provided a classic case study back in 2009 with

Social media now provides new platforms to refresh brands. A marketer’s dream! I just would caution all the tech savvy social media experts to remain consistent with their brand’s DNA. Cirque du Soleil has taken that approach by developing a YouTube video of their upcoming
2011 Michael Jackson show which they post on Facebook and Twitter. They also use these tools to talk to their tribe, better known as Cirque Club. Over twenty five years they have stuck with their core promise of reinventing the circus – theatrical street performance without the animals.

Brand stamps! Stick to one thing until you get there.


  1. OOOO...I like that quote. It applies (if you'll pardon the pun). Good message.

  2. Great post Jimmy! I really enjoyed it. I run a Social Media Marketing Agency, Catalyst Marketers, and you are spot on. Many agencies out there don't focus on where customers are spending their time online, they just sprinkle the message across all platforms. To your point, the message needs to be consistent with the brand's DNA AND those messages must be pushed out on platforms that are frequented by your customers' target audience.

  3. Jimmy,

    What if you haven't found what you want to do and who you want to be? What if you wake up at 70 kicking yourself in the butt because you haven't tried everything you wanted to try in your life? It's all about trial and error.

  4. I totally agree but I would caution against dogma or orthodoxy when it comes to brands. Sometimes it's ok to get "a little work done" but not to the degree of a kenny rogers or jocelyn wildenstein.

  5. Great quote Jimmy. A postage stamp..hmmm...did you ever steam a non cancelled stamp off an envelope and reuse it? With a little glue, I guess a stamp can be reused again in some cases...especially if it did work once and you get the chance to use it again... Way too deep, but thought you'd appreciate it! Vickie