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Branding 101: If Dogs Can't Understand It, You're Doing It Wrong.

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Jim Allen By Jim Allen

Subject: Branding 101: If Dogs Can't Understand It, You're Doing It Wrong

Ahoy, fellow marketing aficionados! Hold on to your swivel chairs and refill your oversized mugs because we're about to journey back to the halcyon days of marketing. Remember those? When the only 'algorithm' was the ancient, mystical formula of "Billboard + Catchy Slogan = Sales"? Those were the days... But today, we're at the bleeding edge of a marketing singularity, balancing precariously between the conventional wisdom of old and the dizzying pace of the new.

And in this brave new world, we're asking an unusual question... "If dogs can't understand it, are we doing branding wrong?"

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Jim, I've been in lockdown too long, but you've really lost it." But bear with me, folks. It's not that Fido is preparing to join our brainstorming sessions (though he probably couldn't do any worse than Bob in accounting), it's a metaphor. If our brand messaging can't be understood by a creature that has trouble distinguishing its tail from a chew toy, we may be in trouble.

You see, branding, at its core, is about simplicity. We forget that sometimes, don't we? We get lost in the labyrinthine corridors of AI-driven campaigns and data analytics, and we lose sight of the fundamental truth: Branding should be as clear as a Beatles song and as memorable as the first time you heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Remember Apple's 'Think Different' campaign? It wasn't about the specs of their computers or the intricacy of their technology. It was about an ideology, a belief - simple, yet powerful. If dogs were literate, they'd probably understand that.

But why the canine comparison? Good question. Research from Stanley Coren, a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia, reveals that dogs can understand about 165 words, similar to a two-year-old child. And isn't it true that the most memorable brands resonate with the innocence and clarity of a child's perspective?

So how do we ensure our brand messages pass the 'Dog Test'? Here are three steps:

  1. Simplicity is Key: Avoid industry jargon. If your brand message can't be easily explained to someone outside your field, it needs simplification. I mean, who really knows what 'synergy' means?

  2. Emotion over Information: Facts tell, but stories sell. Evoke emotion in your messaging. Remember, that's how Old Yeller got famous!

  3. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency: Be constant with your messaging. It's the only way it'll stick - like that one ABBA song you can't get out of your head.

So, fellow marketers, as we venture forth into this thrilling jungle of AI, data analytics, and ever-evolving consumer expectations, let's not forget the wisdom of our four-legged friends. Keep it simple, keep it emotional, and keep it consistent.

Because if dogs can't understand it, you're probably doing it wrong.

Yours in dogged determination,

Jim Allen.

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