The Power of Branding (A Story of Two Supermarkets)

There is a story I recently heard that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I told some of my team and then I’ve found myself telling it to friends, in meetings, on the phone. That’s called “stickiness” and so I want to share it here as well.

There are two supermarkets. You walk into the first supermarket and they’ve run out of a product you want and you think, “That’s really a crap store.” You walk into a second supermarket that you really admire and they’ve run out of the product and you think, “I should have been here earlier.”

That’s good branding.

How we feel about places, people, things we interact with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis matters. It matters because our perception of a place becomes reality. Reality is a hard thing to shape, it’s not as cut and dry as everyone would have you believe. After all, the second a moment passes it stops being reality and becomes memory – the most personal and subjective emotion in the world.

Whether you’re creating a Brand from scratch, in the process of reinvention or elevating your Brand to another level, remember you have limited opportunity to create a “moment of truth” and those moments matter. This message applies to all businesses, nonprofits, startups, etc. It’s these succinct stories and messages that I’ve been thinking a lot about as I work to build brands in my day-to-day work.

What’s your story? Which supermarket are you?

This story comes from Michael Wolff, Founder of Wolff Olins (and comes at 3:42 on the video above). I found his video on m ss ng p eces, a Brooklyn-based creative company who created videos for the Intel Visual Life series. I found them through Cowbird, the new storytelling project website from Jonathan Harris. I met Jonathan at Davos in 2010 and greatly admire his work, creativity and creation of new projects on the web.

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