Best Experienced With: Ministry; Every Day is Halloween
(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window. A marketing treatise on branding and a close examination of why I dress this way just to keep them at bay. Mostly because Halloween is every day.)
In my Masters in Science program at University of San Diego, I had the good fortune of having a visiting professor, Tom Buckles, for a marketing strategy course. Tom is one of those ridiculously brilliant people that you choose to stay after an evening class with, just passing the time speaking about nothing. Tom’s wife was finishing a doctorate in theology and was studying most evenings. Tom and I would sit in his office after class and discuss the most interesting topics….Tom opining on weighty matters and me sitting there slack jawed and drooling.
Tom drilled into our heads that a brand is all about trust. When you have a customer experience with Apple, Starbucks, McDonalds, or Nike anywhere in the world, odds are that this customer experience will be the same regardless of whether you are in Spokane, WA or Bhopal, India. You can trust that your expectations as a consumer of that good or service will be met, simply by seeing the name on the sign or the logo.
Branding is all about trust.
If you are visual and would like to see a picture of Tom, please click on this link to his current university: Biola University, otherwise known as the Bible Institute of Southern California. The rest of us will wait right here.
When the Ed Hardy phase of utterly awful and ridiculous clothing hit, did you blame Ed Hardy? Me too. Ed was not to blame because Ed was simply a legendary tattoo artist who chose to license his work to Christian Audigier. Mr. Audigier is to blame for the tool bags you and I saw running around in silly tight tee shirts.
What was the Ed Hardy brand? What could you trust when you met an individual wearing Mr. Audigier’s Ed Hardy clothing? First, you could trust that this individual clearly did not have mirrors in their home or that they were blind. Second, you could trust that intelligent conversation with this Ed Hardy wearing person is as likely as my beloved Cleveland Browns playing in the Super Bowl this year. Third, you can trust that anyone who clothes (or has clothed) themselves in Ed Hardy clothing is a tool bag. Finally, you can trust that the Ed Hardy person would follow hundreds of lemmings off of a cliff because there is no way they chose that clothing because it looked good when they walked out of the dressing room. Just because it is in fashion does not mean it looks good.
Branding is all about trust. When you see the Ed Hardy silliness, you know exactly what to expect from the person wearing it. That is the embodiment of trust.
Halloween is upon us. I just purchased the outfit detailed below for thirty-seven cents on E-Bay. If you see the following outfit at your door on October 31, please give me as many Razzles and Reese’s Cups as you can find.
Am going to start with these jeans:
Then I am going to put on this skin tight tank top
Am going to cover the tank top with this tee shirt
Then I will put on these gloves:
……and then cover the tee shirt with this jacket.
You will see this jacket tied around my waist. In case it snows in The LJ.
Then, I will put on this baseball cap. Backwards.
And I will carry this motorcycle helmet under my left arm.
Under my right arm I will carry this folder so that I can capture digits as the night progresses. I have already made tabs for all the different “naughty” categories. Naughty cat, naughty nurse, naughty mouse, naughty astronaut, naughty school teacher, naughty ditch digger, naughty welfare mom, naughty draw bridge tender, naughty jelly donut filler, naughty moose, naughty pterodactyl, naughty brain surgeon, ad infinitum.
I will have this in my left hand, although I have no idea what it is. It is very sparkly and it is an Ed Hardy thing. Thus, it will make me quite popular!
If you need a light for your cigarette, please ask me to light it because I will have this in my right hand:
If we meet and “click”, perhaps you will come back to Chez Mully for some rye toast and coffee. Should this be your fortune, you will see this computer in my office:
To pull the entire outfit together, I will wear these shoes, of course:
Halloween is all about candy.
Colt McCoy is the starting quarterback for my beloved Cleveland Browns this weekend in a game that has now become the embodiment of good versus evil. Colt McCoy, a solid Christian with a thin face versus a rapist with a Baldwinesque face. Ben Roethlisberger is the lost Baldwin brother and has, at age twenty-eight, a face and head larger than a Prius. It is a wonder they can find a helmet as large as a Prius.
Pop Big Ben quiz. What is the Roethlisberger brand these days? You can trust that Ben’s face/head will soon be larger than a station wagon; most likely by Thanksgiving day. You can trust that Ben will throw twenty-two touchdowns this year and only fourteen interceptions. You can trust than Ben will always be a misogynist and an unconvicted rapist. Moreover, you can trust that when I watch the angelic Colt McCoy win against the rapist Ben Roethlisberger the words from the police report below will loop through my mind. And this is a separate incident from the other rape.
“Ten days after a 20-year-old sorority sister reported being raped by Roethlisberger, 28, in the bathroom of a Milledgeville nightclub, the GBI learned of the alleged prior encounters from a member of the Milledgeville Police Department’s Youth Explorer Program. The source, Linc Boyer, apparently passed on information provided to him by a sibling of the woman involved in the previous incidents.
As detailed in the below GBI report, the woman “is 21 or 22 years old” and worked at the Great Waters golf course, which is near Roethlisberger’s retreat on Lake Oconee. On one occasion, the woman, acting as a designated driver, drove Roethlisberger home from a party. After helping the inebriated athlete to his bedroom, Roethlisberger allegedly would not let her leave. The woman “was able to get to the front door of the house, but Roethlisberger slammed the door.” He then allegedly pulled down his pants and told the woman “she could do whatever she wants.”
A week after the incident (the date of which is not specified in GBI documents), Roethlisberger invited the woman to a party at his home. While there, she “ended up in Roethlisberger’s bedroom,” where the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback reportedly wanted to show her a new bed. After asking her to lie down, Roethlisberger “was allegedly forceful” with the woman and “put his hand up [her] skirt.” After pushing Roethlisberger’s hand away, the woman went to leave the home, which angered the football star. The woman then ‘went home and told her father, but her father chose not to pursue the issue’.”
Happy Halloween (in advance), you naughty (fill in the blank)
The link below will take you to a short, four page article on how our brain models brands, as well as an excellent little bibliography.