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Children and Brands

May 5, 2009

What’s the difference?

Kids will be brands, one day.

Kids will be brands, well one day

As I was thinking about this subject matter, I started to think about what my mother use to say, “You are who you hang out with”, “Don’t be at the wrong place at the wrong time”, or “If he jumped off a bridge, would you do the same”. I could go on but I think you get my drift. So I ask the question, are brands hanging with the right crowd? Are they in the right places at the right time? And are they successful at influencing others to become brand advocates? Would you jump off that bridge?

So why are brands like kids? Brands are like children and I’m not talking about personal branding that’s a different topic all together. Brands and kids grow; they both have aspirations to do great things, look for improvements, plan for the future, and develop personalities that formulate who they are. They both try to develop unique characteristics and at the same time, try to a fit within the world adapting to change. Brands and kids both have influencers that drive their next move. They also influence others.

As parents, we try to instill in our children good values and virtues. Some of these values and virtues we live by as brands and corporations such as integrity, innovation, inspiration, giving, etc. Children have the innocence that we all want to protect. We also want to protect our brand assets. Things like loyalty, adaptability, initiative, stability, and dedication are also values that are important.

Some brands are more mature than others. Some like to be on the cutting edge and some are more conservative. From the influencers to being influenced, the popular to the timid, all have perceptions, values and virtues that make us unique and differentiate us from the crowd. Being in the right place at the right time should be the goal. Brands should have a “Precise Dialogue” with their customers in the appropriate places.

Don’t get me wrong, branding and marketing communications should be taken very seriously. It’s not child’s play or even school yard games. However, it should also be enjoyable along the way, like your childhood. Enjoy life and embrace what’s around you. We learn from others and learn by listening. The more we listen, the more we learn. If you’re a good listener and participate in a conversational manner that is relevant to your audience then you will have a brand that people rave about. Deep down inside all of us, we want to be the popular kid in class.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

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