Dave. He’s why branding is so important
Dave is the guy that you’ve known all your life. You remember the first time you met. It was the seventies. He wore brown tracksuits. But there was something special about him. He stood out, even though everyone, even you, was wearing brown tracksuits.
And though you grew up, graduated, got a job, Dave was always there. He stayed with you. Sure, he changed with the times. Everybody did. His hairstyles stayed current. His clothes stayed sharp. He even learnt to dance like a robot.
But there was something solid about him. You were always able to recognise him as the Dave you’d always known. You knew that, whatever happened, you could rely on Dave to deliver on his, well, “Dave-ness”.
Dave is Coca-Cola. Every time you shared a Coke with a friend or watched a Coke ad in a darkened cinema or saw a Coke sign mounted above your local cafe, you’ve spent time with a brand you’ve known all your life. A brand you’d probably call a friend. In fact, a brand you’ve spent so much time with, it’s almost part of your family.
That’s why branding is important.
Because when Coca-Cola came up with New Coke or Cherry Coke, and it didn’t quite work, you cut it some slack. Just as you might a friend who didn’t quite get that latest look just right.
Because even when, in that famous blind-taste test, Pepsi beat Coke on the basis of pure flavour, you didn’t run off with the new, hot thing. OK, Dave might not be the handsomest kid on the block anymore, but he’s still your Dave. He’s the one you’ve shared a life-long friendship with.
And because even when people tell you that when Coke was really, really young, it mixed cocaine into its cool drink, you forgave that too. Hell, everyone does crazy stuff when they’re young.
So why is that you are so accommodating? Because Coke is Coke and Dave is Dave. And just like Dave’s always stuck with you, well, you’ll always stick with him.
Because over the years, over ALL the years, Dave has always been consistent. You know that whatever he does in the future, whatever products and services he offers under the name of his brand, and chances are you’re still going to be his friend.
And that’s what makes branding so important. It’s about creating an identity that people can trust and rely upon, an identity so special that people will celebrate its successes and forgive it its failures - whether it’s a guy called Dave or the world’s largest cola.