Monday, July 10, 2006

Expanding your Brand

It’s a dream come true! Chrysler, in its latest Dodge Caliber, transformed the typical glove compartment into a cooler for drinks and snacks! While I’m thinking soda and candy bars, in marketing this genius idea, they claimed on Comedy Central’s Stand-Up that, “The chill zone holds up to four hands!”

Self-deprecating humor, or “mocketing” is the latest risk-taking strategy being used to expand brands across target markets, some of which were highlighted in Brandweek last week. Using different forms of parody and approaching their consumers with a relaxed, open-mind has proved success for NASCAR, Boost Mobile, and Toyota.

It’s risky because humor is so selective, and companies cannot afford to offend their consumers and risk drowning their product. NASCAR, whose popularity has skyrocketed in the last decade, is willing to take that risk. Will Ferrell will be staring in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Definitely a parody of Days of Thunder and NASCAR, the movie will attract NASCAR fans, Will Ferrell fans, and millions of movie-goers of all ages, genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds—everyone. Sarah Nettinga, media entertainment director at NASCAR says, “Comedy may be risky, but stepping out of the box and away from the safety zone can pay dividends in expanding the brand’s core fan/consumer base.”

One of the parodies was on MADtv. Toyota’s low-end Yaris were parodied as “the ride of nonconforming underachievers, not the likes of Donald Trump.” An edgier approach like this appeals to a broader population whose access to communication mediums is just as alternative as their humor; chat rooms, blogs, message boards.

Taking risks for the opportunity of brand name expansion will be successful so long as you keep in mind all the elements of moving your brand, as entailed in our “Forward. Fast. ® model. They are:
-Quality offering
-Quality experience

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