The Value of Backroad Branding

The Brand Wisdom of Men
June 19, 2013
Is Your Brand a Firecracker or a Dud?
July 3, 2013

Summer is finally here, yeah!! Time for back yard barbecues, dips in the pool and road trips. I LOVE road trips. I love the adventure of jumping in the car to go off exploring.  Actually, one of my favorite things to do is to surprise my kids with mystery destinations. I try to take them to unique places we wouldn’t normally go to.

Our mystery trips don’t necessarily take us to famous locations. More often than not we end up exploring not too far off nooks and crannies of  our region. When you are busy living your life you don’t always have time to get to know the little gems right in your own back yard. Last year, we found a specialty German bakery, yum. (I find the mystery tours go over better if good food is involved.)

When we think about traveling, we usually imagine heading to far-off, exotic locales. Surely, there is better than here. However, I have found here has a lot to offer. You just have to look around and take the time to explore the landscape. Ironically, the same is true for our brands.

We are always looking, looking, looking for how to make our brands special, how we can make them more interesting and attractive. The problem is, of course, the looking we do is often to the outside. Oh, if we only had a few palm trees to stick in our brand, or maybe a giant water slide. Now that would be exciting…

What we miss by trying to mega-mall our brands is the truly unique and innovative experience we could be offering our clients. How many amusement parks can you visit in one summer anyway? Ok, if you are 10 years old the answer is probably about a million. However, as a sophisticated adult consumer, your palate gets very bored and slightly nauseated after a steady diet of slurpies and cotton candy.

What consumers are looking for is authenticity, originally, creativity and innovation. Come on, doesn’t it give you a thrill to be the first one to discover a funky new little restaurant? Or can’t you just wait to tell your friends about the sultry tones of your new favorite indie band? However, what really gets us jazzed about these experiences is the way it makes us feel about our own innovative potential. It brings a sense of possibility and hopefulness, not to mention a deep satisfaction. It’s like rubbing a warm salve on our creativity.

Now, since we know consumers buy based on how they feel, what does it say about offering the unique nooks and crannies of your brand? Cha-Ching! It’s when we take the time to explore our own brand back-yard that we unearth true gold. Those tasty morsels of luscious originality entice and delight our audience.

So next time you are tempted to plow down the branding super highway, remember, great brands create memorable experiences for their audiences. You will do well to take them on a meandering, beautiful brand journey. And remember, the promise of a treat upon arrival never hurts!

I love to hear your voice! 

How do you surprise and delight your clients?

What is your favorite road trip?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.