August 18, 2012

Can your brand pass the Whodat Test?

Your messaging can have too little “brand ID” (witness that clever, funny ad you saw on tv last night for … um … for … somebody. It failed the Whodat Test.

Or your communications can have too much, as in the need to repeat and repeat and repeat the brand name, reminding the audience that you’re trying desperately to sell them something.

Copywriters trained on radio had to acquire the skill of repeating the name eleventy-seven times in 60 seconds without irritating the crap out of the listener. If you could do that artfully, it actually worked. Or, if you’re the creepy My Pillow guy, people are changing stations before you gasp out your last twelve mentions.

Even worse, paranoids use this technique where it does not make sense. In print, for instance, where the logo is right there pretty darn reliably in the bottom right, or on the web pretty darn reliably in the upper left. There’s no mystery about “I wonder whodat showin’ me this great stuff?” One twitch of the eyeball and they know to whom they should be pretty darn grateful.

Repeated chestbeating is part and parcel of brand ego colliding with the genuine need and interest of prospects who ask WIIFM: what’s in it for me?

So yes, you’ve got to use (or rent) those rare creative skills that earn your brand a Whodat Index safely in the sweet spot where memorable meets positive, at the corner of Surprise and Useful.

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