Industry Insights

Who is the Status of Liberty?

A couple of months ago my 13 year old daughter and I were watching TV when an ad came on for Liberty Mutual Insurance. My daughter had seen the ad many times, but this time she noticed that in the background of the person speaking you could clearly see the Statue of Liberty. She turned and looked at me and said ‘look dad, the Statue of Liberty…and that’s their logo!’ Ever since then, this has become a joke between us…whenever a Liberty Mutual ad comes on, one of us will turn to the other and say ‘Look…the Statue of Liberty.’


My daughter got her first lesson in Branding. Brands associate themselves with concepts, ideas, and images. By doing this they build a ‘Brand World’ for themselves. The goal of good branding is to make sure that everything that a brand communicates reinforces and strengthens this Brand World. It’s really important to make sure that the Images and the Brand World are positive and strengthen the Product and Brand Positioning. The Statue of Liberty works for LIBERTY Mutual because the names tie together, BUT more importantly it works because the imagery of the Statue of Liberty is positive and drives the brand in the direction that the company desire. The Statue of Liberty is Powerful, Trustworthy, and Reliable. She watches over the nation. All strong elements that reinforce the Liberty Mutual Brand.


Some years ago I worked for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Have you ever walked into one of their scoop shops? Everything in the scoop shop adds to the Ben & Jerry’s Brand World… the painting on the walls, the tables, the menus, the merchandise, the uniforms, EVERYTHING. Walking into a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop is like being transported to the Ben & Jerry’s Brand World.


A few years later I ran Marketing at Giant Food Stores (AHOLD). On my first store walk I was amazed at how cluttered the store was with venders’ marketing materials. They did nothing to create a Giant Food Stores Brand World; the consumer got no image of Giant other than a cluttered place that sold other people’s merchandise. First order of business…Develop the Giant Food Stores Brand World!!! We created a strong positioning and drove that into all forms of consumer communication from the store to advertising and promotional activities. We worked hard to ensure that any consumer communication drove that Brand Positioning and strengthened the Brand World.


Next time you are watching an ad you haven’t seen before, try to figure out who the ad is for before “they” tell you. What elements helped you figure it out? Were you surprised when you saw whom the ad was for?


Which Brands do you think are really strong? What are the images that they use? Are there any images that you think are particularly strong??? Let us know!!!


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