It's Kind of a Funny Story
In this post I illustrate how to be hated by many, envied by some and wanted to be visited by all...out of pure curiosity. A pivotal lesson in branding can be grasped here, and that is in reality you cannot appeal to or please everyone. You must differentiate and create a ruckus to truly stand out.
“I'm loved by some, hated by many, envied by most, yet wanted by all.” – Sherrilyn Keyon.
Do you recall a video that went viral of a waitress being excessively abusive towards customers? Ed Debevic’s restaurant in Chicago is known for coming for the food and staying for the abusive and rude staff. That is their Unique Selling Point and brand differentiator. It is what their business has to offer that others do not.
“Humour is really all about socially unacceptable anger.” - Graeme Newell
Humour may not guarantee $$$ but it can certainly build brand awareness, brand exposure and brand loyalty. Making your brand a humour magnet attracts traffic to your social media and website. Humour extends beyond your own content, you can also show humour through your replies. Authenticity is key to make humour work. You heard of ‘fake it till you make it?’ Well, in branding and marketing, don't.
The White Moose Café has created quite the ruckus and controversy with a Facebook post which said that a doctor’s note is required when requesting gluten-free food. With a split opinion, there was some backlash where a lot of people were offended by their sense of humour while others have praised it. There is no such thing as bad publicity - all publicity is good publicity.
Paul Stenson, the owner of the café, defends this ruckus as just a bit of fun. And it is just that…a bit of fun and humour. During times of uncertainty and duress, humour is more important than ever! Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight was exceptional. One of the most memorable quotes by The Joker is ‘Why so serious?’
Whether you enjoy their sense of humour or not their controversial humour has gone viral globally, their page likes, reach and engagement have sky rocketed and people really want to visit the café.
In the late words of Donald O’Conner from the 1950's film classic Singing in the Rain “Make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh, don’t you know ev'ry one wants to laugh?” As if we need another reason to love Netflix, their humour on social media is one to watch!
In a highly competitive and noisy digital environment, content can often go unnoticed. Use humour to stand out and blow your branding horn. Injecting some humour to your brand gives it personality and attracts attention. What do you call a brand with no personality? Anti-social! Old Spice is the epitome of humour and personality. They are synonymous with LOL worthy marketing content.
Show the human side of your brand and connect with your audience by involving your employees and encouraging to bring their personality to work daily. Don’t force humour and allow your employees to be authentically funny. Avoid epic fails - there is nothing cringe worthy than a forced joke!
The guys at Bodyfirst Nutrition are a prime example of getting Snapchat humour with their entertaining and funny tips, facts, jokes, competitions and Snapchat takeovers. Followers want to see more than just product snaps and promotions. They want to see your personality, behind the scenes and comical snaps. They want to get to know you a little bit better and care about your business. And guess what? They will keep coming back for more.
Ray Shah, owner of Bodyfirst Nutrition, says that he thinks his business’ reputation for friendliest comes down to his staff.
“A lot of these places can be quite intimidating to walk into, with a bodybuilder behind the counter and all that,” he explains. “I hire nice lads, who are in good shape but aren’t bodybuilders. They give good advice but aren’t pushy when it comes to selling. That’s the key, I feel.”
If you want to be the talk of the town and attract envy from your competitors and their employees? Encourage a fun culture within your business. You want people wishing to work for you, customers wanting to visit you and brands wanting to be you.
There is a very fine and risky line between amusement and offensiveness when it comes to humour. Some brands have been pretty disastrous at it. Most importantly, stay true to your brand personality and don’t be afraid to let it shine, no risk, no reward right? Humour at your own risk and ensure that it fits your target audience.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg