Weekly Thoughts


Brand = Adjective

When explaining Chenmark to third parties, it can be tempting to share everything we do (it’s just so darn exciting!).  However, whether with prospective employees or business owners, we try to remind ourselves to be concise, shut up, and listen (more bluntly, we do our best to avoid “pitch-slapping” unsuspecting counterparts).  Not surprisingly, this approach typically results in much higher quality interactions.  

Along this line of thinking, we recently enjoyed Luke Sullivan and Edward Boche’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads.  For some, Mr. Whipple may evoke nostalgia.  For the unfamiliar, we all know Charmin = Soft, and for that, we can thank Mr. Whipple. From the book:

Brand associations are powerful and durable.  Jeeps are tough.  Porsches are fast.  “And Volvos, they’re…what? If you said ‘safe’, you’ve given the same answer I’ve received from every person I’ve ever asked. Ever… Volvo has successfully spot-welded that one adjective to their marquee.  And here’s the interesting bit: in the past couple of years, Volvo isn’t featured in top 10 lists of safest cars on the market.  So, here’s a brand that, having successfully paired its logo to one adjective, rides the benefit of this simple position in customers’ minds long after its products no longer merit the distinction.  Such is the power of simplicity.”

Sullivan explains, “People don’t have time to figure out what your brand stands for.  It’s up to you to do it.  And in my opinion, the best way to make your brand stand for something is to make it stand for one thing.  Brand = adjective.”  Importantly, “once it’s paired with the brand, that one square foot of category space is taken and nobody else can take it.”

For the grammatically inclined amongst our readers, verbs work as well.  As the book points out, “Nike Exhorts, IBM Solves, and Sony Dreams.”  The key point is simplicity.

Distilling a company down to one word is hard.  Ensuring that one word uniquely defines a brand and fills a relevant white space in the market only increases the difficulty.  We’ll admit we have not quite nailed down a one-word-Chenmark-brand-white-space-adjective/verb.  But, we all know simple does not mean easy.  We’re working on it.  Thanks Mr. Whipple. 

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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