Marketing Blog

A sample of marketing blogs originally published on the Kik Brand Marketing blog.

The Most Interesting Man in the World – The Effective Use of a Brand Persona

The other day my husband said: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Perhaps some of you will recognize that quote made famous by “the most interesting man in the world”. Although I am the marketer in our family, I was not familiar with this long standing Dos Equis marketing campaign. In my defense, I am not their target market either. The fact that my husband, who is the target market, found the campaign entertaining and relevant made me want to examine just what the brand behind “the most interesting man in the world” has done right.

They have created a brand story

The obvious winning component to this strategy is that Dos Equis has created a compelling brand story. The story centers around a worldly mature gentleman who can be perceived as an “interesting man” based on his activities and experiences, most of which are only aspirational to the average guy. The campaign has longevity because the character engages in an endless number of interesting activities, keeping the story alive.

Is a good story all that it takes to create successful branding? It is certainly a critical component, but people working at and with Dos Equis could not have found such success with their story without first doing some important homework.

The story plays to a key insight about their target market

Before “the most interesting man in the world” was created, the marketers at Dos Equis gained an intimate understanding of their target market. Beyond basic demographic information often used to describe a target market, they also garnered key psychological insights into their targeted consumers. Without this insight, they would not have been able to create a character and a story that would resonate with people like my husband.

The key insight upon which “the most interesting man in the world” story was created is that average guys (the target market) are afraid of being perceived as boring. “The most interesting man in the world” embodies the interesting lifestyle to which men within the target group aspire. My husband, for one, is never out surfing killer waves like the Dos Equis man, but he would like to think that he could. And, while my husband doesn’t always drink beer, in reality more often than not, he does.

Develop a story for your brand

Great brands connect with their users through a background story. Each one of us has our own personal narrative, the story that is our life. As human beings, we relate best to brands with stories that either contribute to or reflect our own. The key to creating a meaningful story is first to understand your consumers’ stories. The best way to do this is through developing your brand’s “buyer personas”, fictional representations of you target consumers based on real demographic, motivational and behavioural data. With a little bit of work, soon your brand will have a story as captivating to your target market as “the most interesting man in the world” is to theirs.

Coke Anti-Obesity Ads and Customer Engagement

I usually don’t drink soft drinks – or any kind of sweet beverage (other than Margaritas). My mom didn’t let us slurp sugary concoctions of any sort and as a result I didn’t acquire either a taste or an emotional connection to them. So, my first reaction to the latest Coca Cola anti-obesity ads was disproval. Nothing short of pulling their products from grocery store shelves could convince me that Coca Cola actually cared about the so-called obesity epidemic. Just stop selling the products. No one “needs” to consume what is just sweet, coloured water with no nutritional benefit.

While absorbed in my anti-soft drink rant, I extended my thinking to other nutritionally void products. Why stop at banning soft drinks? Cupcakes, hot dogs, cookies, sugar cereal – so many products contain minimal nutrition. Then I considered ice cream— and realized that beyond nutrition, these products are vital in our lives.

I love ice cream. Ice cream evokes memories of summer days as a kid when we stopped for a treat on the way home from the cottage. It reminds me of the sheer deliciousness that happens when warm blueberry crisp meets creamy vanilla; especially yummy when made with the blueberries I spent all day picking. Ice cream is happiness and comfort twirled together in a chocolate and vanilla soft serve cone. My life would be a little less sweet without ice cream. Just don’t ban ice cream.

Thoughts of ice cream made me realize it is easy to declare a product or entire food group as “wasted calories” when one doesn’t have an emotional connection. The soft drink companies are selling millions of gallons of their products. Lots of people must have this connection. Perhaps they enjoy a cola with a hot dog at the ballpark? Or maybe at an especially scary horror flick, nothing tastes as good with popcorn as a fizzy beverage?

Is Coke right? Are all calories valid? Can we enjoy certain “vices” in moderation? Thinking about the campaign in a more positive manner, I turned my thoughts to what Coke has done right. Many think our society is experiencing a problem with obesity. The medical community pointed it out. Traditional media started talking and then the rest of us joined in. Social media gave us all our individual soap boxes. Is it not appropriate that companies – in the direct line of fire – start to join the dialogue?

Coke’s new anti-obesity ad is their way of acknowledging to consumers that they are listening and have heard their concerns. Coke has embraced the customer feedback and is using it to find ways to improve not only their products but themselves as an organization. The cynic in me says it is all a marketing ploy. But marketing ploy or not, at least they are doing something, and that is better than closing their eyes and hoping all this talking will go away. Coke knows that in the modern age of social media, it won’t.