Should Brands Have A Point of View?

In Beyond Buzz, Lois Kelly argues that that buzz like the Subservient Chicken doesn’t work. Instead she suggests that firms should develop a strong point of view and something meaningful to talk about, such as Sun Microsystems’ philosophy that “sharing is good” or Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” that aims to build self esteem in young women. She argues that customers are loyal to brands they identify with and those that connect them to a community of like minded customers.

I agree to an extent, but I question whether a lot of people wonder what their soap thinks about social issues. Sometimes I just want the benefits of clean and moisturized skin. Sometimes I just have a need and want a quick solution. What if I don’t agree with the point of view of the company? I admit that products that boast they are “green” may be preferred over others, however consumers can’t always tell the difference. Is Pepsi or Coke more environmentally friendly? Kraft or Nabisco? Nike or Adidas? What brands are Democratic or Republican? I think brands should not have a point of view. It makes things too complicated.

The Harry Potter Brand Empire

Though just a fictional 17 year-old, Harry Potter has built one of the most powerful personal brands in the world. Ad Age has estimated his franchise to be worth $15 billion! Now the story will come to an end with the release of the 7th book on July 21st. There is great speculation on whether Harry Potter will die, but this would probably result in the loss of millions to the franchise, especially with a new theme park scheduled to open in Orlando in 2009 and two more movies yet to hit the big screen. Here is an excellent video that discusses the marketing implications of Harry Potter dying.