There’s always time for lateral thinking.
In previous Thought Experiments, I’ve asked you about everything from coffee to evil. But as a card-carrying nerd (No, really — I have a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent ID I got from the Marvel Experience, and if that isn’t a nerd card I don’t know what is), I think it’s time we got down to the good stuff.
Oh, comics. How I love you. From the goofiness of the Golden Age to the grittier-than-thou late 80s and 90s, that four-color art form warms my heart. Cliche monthly titles or sprawling graphic novels that challenge the form. Sophisticated storytelling like Neil Gaiman’s epic Sandman. Insightful coming-of-age work like Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin. Inspiring brilliance like Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. And I can’t forget artists and inkers…
I’m going to stop before I start babbling.
Comics are having a serious pop culture moment, and they owe a lot of that success to the idea of the superhero. There are all sorts of other stories, of course, but when we think of comic books, we think of fluttering capes and quips made under pressure and feats of superhuman coolness.
So here’s the experiment: If your brand was a superhero, who would s/he be? What sort of costume, powers, and backstory would set him or her apart from the others? Maybe your brand is a driven anti-hero detective. Or a conflicted beacon of righteousness. Or a compassionate, regal visitor to the world of men.
Why would I ask this?
Because you, buddy, ought to be thinking about what makes your brand unique.
Go ahead. Give it a think. See what you get.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Batman, branding, comic books, communication, Golden Age comics, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Lateral Thinking, marketing, narrative, Neil Gaiman, storytelling, superheroes, Superman, Ted Naifeh, thought experiment, Wonder Woman
In my last couple of pieces, I’ve pointed out some examples of what not to do. Like, ever. Under any circumstances. There was a key and creepy difference between these two examples, though.
Both started out as honest, if incredibly short-sighted, mistakes. But one screw up was followed by a sincere apology. The other? Not so much.
It might be instructive to talk about how to say you’re sorry. Like all forms of communication, that’s storytelling. And because it deals with emotions and disappointment, it’s important that it be respectful storytelling. Continue reading
Confession time, my little chinchillas. I’m a nerd. No. I mean, I’m a nerd. A D&D playing, glasses wearing, bad-horror-movie-quoting nerd. Need proof? Here’s one of my four embarrassingly overburdened comic book shelves.
Which means, of course, I love Superman in any and all forms. Even the old TV show the Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves. But something has always bothered me about the show.
It’s the criminals. They’re stupid. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged ads, bad choices, branding, creepy, diversity, dumb, Forbes, George Reeves is cooler than you, Harvard Business School, marketing, McKinsey, multiculturalism, Seasalt and Co., storytelling, Superman