WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
Almost every brand comes with built-in assets and liabilities. For example, an ad agency in South Carolina has the built-in liability that people do not associate South Carolina with â€œhip,â€ â€œsmart,â€ â€œsophisticated,â€ or much else you might associate with your concept of ad agencies. Itâ€™s external to us, so we have to acknowledge it and go with it. It would just be too costly to try to educate people to the contraryâ€¦especially since thereâ€™s a lot of truth in most folksâ€™ perception of South Carolina.
One built-in asset some brands have, that you canâ€™t buy with any amount of money, is a great story. I worked for a little while on a brand of tea that was served in Buckingham Palace. Now, if youâ€™re into traditional English tea, you just canâ€™t beat that for a story.
I remember when Banana Republic was actually built around war surplus warehouse buyouts. I actually got a Russian Air Force Officerâ€™s overcoat at the one on Walnut Street in Shadyside (Pittsburgh), back in the 1980s. Way to form fitting, and way to warm. But what a story!
We have some friends whose company was founded by some war heroesâ€¦yeah, like Purple Heart winners. These were some serious guys. They were mostly from an under-served minority. They did planning sessions in a public park. They refused to fail. Itâ€™s a really cool story. You just canâ€™t buy that kind of brand asset!