Being obviously different from your competition is a key ingredient of good branding.
However, that point of difference should be meaningful to your ideal customer.
Often we see boring and generic taglines that basically mean nothing. MooGoo have been pretty brave here. What do you think: Genius or insanity?
I saw this banner the other day when I was walking past a chemist and it caused me to do a bit of a double-take. So it reads:
“MooGoo products originated from a cream used in dairy farms to repair the skin on cow’s udders.”
To repair the skin on cow’s udders?! Is that genius or insanity?
Why would they say that? Well, let’s have a look at that today.
Having a point of difference is really important. Too many businesses these days, rather than having brands, it’s more like they have “blands”.
They’re saying the same old, same old undifferentiated boring stuff.
Have a look at this article on Killian Branding for example. If you have a look at these taglines here:
- the new symbol for quality in America
- bringing quality to life
- quality in everything we do
- quality and innovation
- blah blah blah blah blah
These are so generic and uninspired they could belong to anybody. There’s nothing here to really differentiate one from the other.
So you do need to be different that’s important but you also need to be different in a way that’s meaningful to your customer.
I see too many businesses that pick lazy or internal or politically motivated things as their taglines – and they might tick some boxes with management, or the board, or a CEO – but they don’t mean anything to customers. They’re not words that customers would normally relate to.
It’s a bit like your web designer promoting to you what version of HTML they write your website in. Do you care? Does it matter to you? Of course not! That’s something that might be internally important to them, and might mean something within their industry but for you as a customer? Who cares.
So coming back to MooGoo again, when I first saw that I thought well, it’s a really an internal point of difference.
And that can work. I recorded a video a little while ago that’s telling the story from the TV show Mad Men, where Don Draper is in the room with the execs from Lucky Strike Cigarettes – and they arrive at the “It’s Toasted” tagline.
So check out that video if you want to see how that evolved – but internal differences can work if they’re done right.
So what about this MooGoo one? Obviously, it’s part of the origin story of the product and they’ve picked on that and thought, “yep, let’s run with that, that’ll do”.
Or have they?
Does it mean anything to their ideal customer? Are there people out there who see that and go, “Oh, they’ve used this on cow udders. I’m gonna stick that on my face!
Well look, maybe there are and I guess that’s the question: genius or insanity?
It’s obviously and certainly different. It’s not a bland claim at all and I guess it’s either going to repel you or it’s going to attract you, depending on how you relate to that.
If we think about branding and brand strategy, it’s just as important to consider whom you don’t serve and who you don’t want as a customer as much as who you do serve and who you do want as a customer.
So when you think about that I think I’ve shifted from my initial position a bit. My initial reaction was, “that’s insane”, but the more you think about it it’s quite possibly genius! A really peculiar, unique point of difference that will appeal to some and not to many – and that’s okay, because that’s what branding is supposed to do.
So what do you think? Genius? Or insanity?