Your brand is your identity in today’s market. This is one of the foundational points that I based the products and services that Visceral Concepts provides around. It’s something that I believe to be true down to the core of my being. But what is your brand?
Let’s stop to think about a brand for a minute. Name the first fast-food place that comes to mind. If you’re like the average human, you thought of the golden arches. Since I can’t read your mind, that’s the one we’ll use as an example. And, please finish the article before you go get an order of fries…
Ya know, I always admired Ray Kroc, the man who invented McDonald’s. Ray had a vision of the most commonplace thing – a hamburger and fries to go – but to him it was just the greatest thing ever, and he was going to make it the greatest thing ever for everybody else, and he did.
– David Lee Roth
Think about the brand Ray Croc created for a moment. What are some things that come to mind? Golden arches? A clown and his group of miscreant, fast-food loving friends? How about the colors yellow and red? These are all common images attributed to “Micky D’s”. But what about the ones that have permeated our culture?
Don’t you call all chicken pieces McNuggets? Aren’t they the only company with five double cheeseburgers on the menu, but none of them are simply a “double cheeseburger” (the “McDouble” comes the closest)? Speaking of which, can you think of any other company that has re-named so many basic items to be a unique brand by adding only two letters (McNuggets, McDouble, McRib)? You see, their brand is more than some visible symbols.
McDonald’s has developed a culture. They’ve built “Mc”, “Ronald”, the arches and two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun into everything they do, and they’ve done it so much so that it has spilled over into the rest of the world. (Ever heard a child ask for “McNuggets” at Carl’s Jr? I chuckled…)
When you’re a corporation, you’re going to stick with what works. That’s why every McDonald’s is the same.
Because they decided to turn their brand into a culture, they’re a household name. They’ve also set an example to follow. By developing a branded culture for your company, you’re creating something that people want to be a part of. And they’ll come running.
Don’t forget that you have to keep it balanced. Dr. Marla Gottschalk, an industrial & organizational psychologist, shares her thoughts on “Facebook’s Company Town” and how it brings in to question where the healthy line needs to be drawn.