There is a great classic SNL skit, starring Gilda Radner, Dan Akroyd and Chevy Chase, called “Shimmer.” It’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping: http://www.hulu.com/watch/61320/saturday-night-live-shimmer-floor-wax
In addition to simply being funny, “Shimmer” illustrates that the same thing can have different meanings to different people … and so can your brand.
Thus when you are distributing your brand across different media, keep in mind that it will mean different things to different people. As such, your brand can be presented in a distinct manner, across each medium, in a way that is optimized for each medium. The key is that your core brand essence remains consistent in each instance.
Brandissimo! built the NFLRUSH Zone brand, for the National Football League, from scratch. We started off as an online virtual game world. Here we utilized the NFL brand attributes of competition and teamwork to foster an environment where kids play video games, competing against one another and representing their team just as NFL players do. That’s our floor wax.
NFLRUSH Zone has been a great success—over 150 million gameplays in four+ years—and is expanding into other media. Season one of an animated NFLRUSH Zone television show—Guardians Of The Core—aired on NickToons last year. Guardians Of The Core follows a kid named Ish on an adventure where he battles the evil robotic Blitz Botz and helps return each NFL team’s shard—its power source—to the team’s home stadium.
Guardians Of The Core is about overcoming fear, fighting the good fight and being a hero—slightly different than the competition and teamwork attributes of the NFLRUSH Zone online virtual game world. That’s our dessert topping.
Same brand, different medium, different brand attributes, same core brand essence. What we did was tailor—optimize—the brand to each medium and each audience but we kept the core brand essence consistent across each. Visually that was easy—the NFL and its teams have very distinctive marks. Emotionally, that essence is team affinity. Online, team affinity manifests by kids playing for their teams and wearing team gear. On TV, team affinity is represented by celebrating team Rusherz (fictional guardians) and team stadiums. It works and it works well.
Got more media? Then we’ll have more—different—dessert toppings! We brought NFLRUSH to the world of apps, producing the NFLRUSH Pick ‘Em app for iOS and Android. Here fans are engaging in the real world NFL, guessing which NFL teams will win each week during the season. Pick ‘Em utilizes the NFL brand attribute of competition—there’s a leader board, leagues and prizes—but in a different manner than in the NFLRUSH Zone virtual world and different than Guardians Of The Core. Meanwhile, the app gives kids the chance to pick their own team, highlighting the brand essence of team affinity.
Same brand, different media, slightly different brand messages tailored to the medium, consistent brand essence across the board. It’s a floor wax…AND a dessert topping.
I’m not saying that brand consistency should be abandoned…absolutely not! But flexibility is sometimes required when you’re expanding your brand experience to different audiences in different media. You’ll wind up growing your brand, building your audience and ultimately increasing the value of your brand equity. And like Gilda Radner, you too will look at your brand and say “look at that shine!”