Keeping Your Brand Unified and Wires Uncrossed

One of our favorite brands to talk about here at The Starr Conspiracy is Geico. They have a clear brand archetype, but they also have many different messages that support their brand as well. Everyone knows that insurance is a boring, commoditized product that everyone has to buy. So Geico sets out to make us laugh.

They do this through a variety of commercials that have featured everything from geckos to cavemen to a Stone Phelps (Dateline, circa 1999) lookalike. My current favorite involves former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo blocking random things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_0fyUYB3cA

What does that have to do with insurance? Nothing really, but it supports their brand.

Let's say you've laughed at approximately 142 Geico commercials featuring a wide cast of characters and you finally decide to break down and check out Geico to see what they're all about. Which site would you expect to see:

insurance site comp

You probably wouldn't be expecting the site on the left. Worry-free isn't their brand promise, and a list of reassuring reasons to choose them really doesn't fit, either. The site on the right fits right in: the big gecko and the nonsensical e-book. Now, if you were going to another insurance company website, if you saw a lizard and an e-book that had nothing to do with insurance, that would be pretty jarring. Since that's what Geico promised though, it's not just expected, it's necessary.

Especially when moving from one medium to another (say a billboard to a commercial, or a commercial to a website), the importance of a unified brand is critical. If, like Geico, you have multiple messages in the marketplace, they must tie in enough to your overall brand archetype to be supportive and not feel out of place.

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