The concept of hero brand was originally designed to help marketers and creativeHERO BRAND people understand each other when they use the word “branding”.
The idea is this.DO something special The process of becoming a brand is simular to the process of becoming a hero. that To become a hero, first you need to DO something special. Something that MEANS something to one or more people. MEANS something Like, you SAVE a baby from a burning house and that MEANS a lot to the family. special to people. Or, you WIN a gold medal at the Olympics and that MEANS a lot to you country. Or, you walk in the park with elderly people in the weekend and that means a lot to the local community.
Now, if people know you personally, it is easy to be remembered as a hero. But if you’re unknown, it takes aGAME little bit more.NAME Apart from doing something MEANINGFUL, you need to have a NAME, you need to be easily RECOGNIZABLE, and you need the RIGHT WORDS, so people can tell yourFAME story to impress their friends. These are four elements, essential to making it toCLAIM collective memory: Game, Name, Fame, Claim
GAME What you DO, and what it MEANS to people.NAME For exampleFAME Robin Hood: “Free the English people from the bad prince John”CLAIM
GAME Make sure your name is not in conflict with your game.NAME “Robin Hood” sounds nice.FAME Hood means protection, cover, like in neighborhood.CLAIM
GAME Make sure you can be recognized from far away.NAME Look, smell, sound or feel different.FAME Robin Hood can be drawn by a child.CLAIM Hood with feather.
GAME Find the right words for your act of heroism.NAME Remember Robin Hood’s?FAME “Steel from the rich, give to the poor.”CLAIM Brilliant.
Here’s a more contemporary example:GAME Free American people from the oldestablishment’s rulesNAME OBAMAFAME Different skin color. (and it sure helps to be the most attractive malehuman being ever in the Whitehouse)CLAIM ChangeSimple program. Fits on a beer coaster. Famous for ever.
GAME Give people an advantage in life through technological progressNAME AUDIFAMECLAIM Vorsprung durch Technik
GAME Let people give the unforgettableNAME BONGOFAMECLAIM You are what you give
GAME Give people a sense of being on top of the worldNAME CarlsbergFAME iconic green bottleCLAIM Probably the best beer in the world
GAME Feeling pure in a polluted worldNAME SPAFAMECLAIM The purifying water
GAME Uncharge natural male drift from guiltNAME ChéFAMECLAIM Keep on dreaming of a better world
GAME Liberate machinery from bounderiesNAME KomatsuFAME huge yellow machinesCLAIM Call the experts
GAME Glorify the use of public transportNAME De LijnFAME white & yellow busesCLAIM There’s a lot of pros to group transport
GAME Give people the control back over their travel timeNAME Touring MobilisFAME radio traffic announcementCLAIM Smart on the road
GAME Express people’s sweet- & tendernessNAME LotusFAMECLAIM With love inside
You can try it out yourself on many brands you know. And you’ll see, the harder it is to put clear short answers, the easier it is to forget the brand, and the brand’s story. You can easily identify where the weak spots are, when you handle a brand.HERO BRANDS Are you really doing something special? And does it really mean something to the lot? checker Is your name in line with the special thing you do? Are you easy to recognize, and do you look, smell, feel, sound different from your competitors? Did you find the right words for your story?
About this story thing, one last word: true heroes neversay of themselves that they are the best.In advertising this translates as: It is not about the storyyou tell to people, it is about the story you give them to telleach other.
Hero Brand looks like just another way to describebrands, and it is. But it does one wonderful new thing. Itmakes marketers think and talk about their brand in wordsthat inspire and motivate talented creative people.The book is 176 pages, illustrated with helpful examplesand tips how to make it work through all communicationefforts, from graphic identity to messaging to all audienceon and off line. And my wife says it is fun to read.
Have a look at www.heldenmerk.beand ask Guillaume about Hero Brand.