Branding lessons from Frankenstorm

Another genius post from marketoonist Tom Fishburne, this time on branding lessons from the "Frankenstorm" Sandy that hit the US last week. By the way, hope our East Coast US readers are getting back to something like normal.

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He shows how many brands tried to cash in on the storm, creating instead a storm of negative publicity. He quotes the example Gap using the #Sandy Twitter hashtag to promote shopping on, and the ad below from American Apparel. All done in the worst possible taste.

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In contrast, he gives a deserved thumbs up to P&G brands Tide and Duracell for providing much-needed help for folk during the storm, whilst of course promoting their brand. Tom explains how: "Duracell sent charging stations to Lower Manhattan to charge people’s mobile phones and devices. Tide provided free laundry services on a mobile truck equipped with 32 washers and dryers."

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Some insight from these bad and brilliant bits of marketing:

1. Speed is key: you do need to be fast on your feet to respond to newsworthy events, as I posted on here using P&G as an example. These means having a little bit of budget free to act immediately when opportunities arise.

2. Brand vision to action: as Tom points out, Tide and Duracell got it right because they have a clear brand vision, and brought this to life through their actions. In the case of Tide: “Tide has learned that the little things – like clean clothes – can make a big difference to those who have lost the comforts of home.”

3. SMS: both Tide and Duracell ensured their brand was highly visible in their actions. Any activity, including ones that do good, should be promoting the brand and helping you SMS = Sell More Stuff.

In conclusion, Tom's post is a great reminder of the importance of having a clear vision you turn into action to sell more stuff, and being quick of the mark to respond to newsworthy opportunities.