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A Hugely Profound and Evocative Branding Statement

A LEADING BRAND SHOULD PROMOTE THE CATEGORY, NOT THE BRAND

I was reminded of this “branding law” from Jon Strande who sent me his book summary of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (Al Reis and Laura Reis).

I find this “branding law” to be hugely profound and extremely evocative. Any emerging, mission-based company should heed this calling and not be tempted to stray from this law.

The brandscape is littered with companies that have violated this law and and have ultimately fallen from prominence. There are successful brands out there today that need to heed the calling of this law to avoid a painful fall. MTV and Krispy Kreme immediately come to mind.

MTV long ago stopped promoting the category of music videos and instead focused on promoting the MTV lifestyle experience. (Besides during TRL, when does MTV play music videos?) Admittedly, MTV is still successful but they have ceded their music video dominance and allowed FUSE, an upstart startup, the opportunity to become recognized as the more authentic leader in delivering music videos to viewers. I am not saying that MTV is dead. I am saying that MTV has violated the “law of category” because they egotistically promote the MTV brand and not the category of music and music videos.

Krispy Kreme is another company that is heading into dangerous territory by promoting the Krispy Kreme brand and not promoting the category of high-quality donuts. Yes, Krispy Kreme is successful but they are jeopardizing their future success by warp-speeding their evolution from supremely promoting the category of super-premium donuts to egotistically promoting the Krispy Kreme experience.

Once again, a leading brand should promote the category and not the brand.

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