And while AdAge tries to make a big deal out of it and that most of the other top brands were low interest brands like Kleenex tissues and Clorox Bleach … they were all brands that EVERYONE considers because EVERYONE has to use products from their categories. EVERYONE knows them and uses them … they are not target specific … and most of us grew up in houses that already used them all. Of course they're going to get ranked the highest in a sample survey of the US population. That's like ranking oxygen as America's favorite gas.
After spending a week in South Carolina, it dawned on me that their state flag is my absolute favorite American state flag. Most other state flags have some complicated seal with Latin script or ugly colors and look like they were designed by the local head of the PTA. The South Carolina flag is different. It's clean, simple and iconic, and as such it's proven to be incredible for branding the state…and that of course means three things:
Merchandising, merchandising, merchandising!
… and hundreds of other things, including South Carolina the body-board (which I meant to get a picture of but forgot).
People have really embraced the state as a brand. The emblem is everywhere, on every car, sometimes two or three at a time. I thought for sure that it had been designed recently by someone who knew the marketing potential of a good state flag, but the beginnings of the design date back to the Revolutionary war. They just got lucky. I wonder if the state has any licensing rights to the emblem.
Working on Ducati last semester I noticed something about how people described the company. They said Ducati was the Ferrari of motorcycles. While it's good be associated with a brand like Ferrari, its really bad when consumers have to use another brand to describe yours, and it's even worse when your salespeople do the same thing. The guys at the dealership who were obsessed with Ducati, who lived the brand, who made a living selling them, also used the Ferrari description.
It happened again a few weeks ago while renting movies at Blockbuster. The salesguy was trying to sell Krissie on the Blockbuster mail rental program, and he described it as "Blockbuster's version of Netflix." It must be hard to differentiate yourself when your staff uses your competitor's brand to describe your own.
It seems as though having to use other people's brands to talk about your own might be the sign of a problem … although honestly, I wouldn't mind being referred to as the Ferrari of humans.
… but I didn't realize it until today. Yesterday I got an email in my junk email box that turned out to be an Apple newsletter. I immediately declared it as not junk which put it in my regular in-box. I don't ever read that thing. I don't even look at it. Why did I care? Because they've got me. It was like standing up for a friend or family member … automatic … instinctual … not a lot of thought involved. It was 24-hours later when I finally realized that they've completely sold me on their brand.