Sorry for using a “Two and a Half Men” joke, but it will help to get a point across regarding branding. I had a recent shopping experience that I hope will clarify my thoughts on the subject.
In a classic “Two and a Half Men” episode, Uncle Charlie goes shopping with his nephew, Jake, and, while buying milk, Charlie grabs the wrong brand. Jake gets very upset. His line was, “That is not the milk we drink.” Uncle Charlie replies, “Milk is milk.” Yet Jake insists that is not the milk he drinks; his brand is one shelf lower. Charlie ends up acquiescing to Jake’s desires.
So, let me connect the dots regarding how this makes sense for our business and branding. First, I am a habit-driven guy. Same barber, same gas pump, same grocery store and same pharmacy. OK, call it OCD or any other acronym of your choosing, but that’s how I roll.
I also go to my favorite guitar shop at nearly the same time every weekend and buy nearly the same stuff: three sets of strings and some odds and ends. I have a guitar addiction, so some guitar is always in need of fresh legs.
On one particular day, I got my same brand of strings that I have used for 25 years. It was in brand new packaging. When I complimented the company for “updating” its image, the dealer looked directly at me and said, “How did that work out for New Coke?”
Now, to explain further, my friend was not…