Why do some companies get written and talked about excessively while others get ignored?
Why do some companies become media darlings while others are media dogs?
The answer, I believe, is an adjective: interesting.
The essential adjective in branding is interesting. It may even trump quality as an attribute.
Marketing firm Euro RSCG created “the most interesting man in the world” to promote Dos Equis. They’ve also created The Most Interesting Academy. Interesting is sexy; interesting is hip. And drinking Dos Equis, it is suggested, makes you sexy and hip, too.
They’re on to something. We hate boring. In this over-stimulated world in which we live, boring is, well, BORING. While some may seek the truly stimulating, more people look for the interesting.
Want to be interesting? Consider these four aspects:
What you do.
As Cory Miller points out in his blog, duct tape could be t he most boring product in the world but has spawned duct tape fashion and even a club.
How you do it.
Fortune magazine just did a feature on Trader Joe’s (a client of mine some years ago). The article angle was the “secrecy” of the company and how they do business. Sometimes the less people know about a successful brand the more “interesting” it becomes. I’ve read that a sub-plot of William Gibson’s new book Zero History is about a brand that is wildly in demand because it is almost impossible to get.
Why you do it.
TOMS Shoes is based on a simple premise: for every pair of shoe you buy, they’ll give a pair of shoes to a needy child. Interesting. And very cool.
Who does it.
It is tough not to point to Steve Jobs who has the uncanny ability to make everything–even product flubs–look interesting. But despite the danger of the charismatic leader (that Jim Collins has warned about so well), paying attention to the people who speak for your product or service can make the difference between interesting and boring.
Old Spice has seen an enormous resurgence as a fragrance, not because the product changed but because the perception changed. “The man your man could smell like” Isaiah Mustafa has brought new life to an old brand by making it interesting.
An exceptional sales person can inject interesting into whatever he or she sells, and a great CEO can do that for an entire company.
How interesting is your company?
How interesting is your product or service?
How interesting are you?