Ask a 10-year-old what your brand is about

Ask a 10-year-old what your brand is about

mcdonalds-logoI was driving my 10 year old son to school one day when he piped up and said that MacDonalds was a company that sold crappy food that made people unhealthy. I asked him why. He said that’s what everyone at school says—his friends, teachers, everybody. You see, we don’t go to MacDonalds, but he still has an impression of what it is. I asked him, “What about Chipotle?” He said it’s a place where he can get a really good burrito, fast, and they make it exactly the way he wants it. He said it’s healthy, too.

And I said, “How do you know?”

He said “It says so in the store, Dad!”

Wow, I was on a roll now. So I said, “What about this company?” I showed him my iPhone. He said, “Apple? They’re awesome! They just make cool things that are easy to use and get me to all kinds of cool games, movies and websites. I love the iPad and phone. It’s so much fun to explore things.”

So if you want to know about your brand, ask a 10 year old. And, I don’t just mean consumer products; if your brand doesn’t resonate with people outside your world, even in the technology sector, no value is there. Features and and benefts are not a brand. Atmel, a totally invisible chip maker, gets its brand out there because they build content and value around what their products do in the world. Their association with the maker movement and robotics associates them with powerful and creative ideas.

Chipotle is just a burrito company but all their messaging is about you, the customer, and how they source great ingredients because they are committed to – you.

So whether you have an insurance company, a wealth management company or a biotech firm, can a ten-year-old describe your brand? Think about it.