Brands as Caricatures

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Seth had and interesting post today about great brands being caricatures of the company or product they represent.  Caricatures take something about a person that already stands out (such as a big nose) and exaggerate it to ridiculous proportions.  So how does this apply to marketing?  Here’s an example…

When you think about fast package delivery, what brand comes to mind?  Probably FedEx.  The fact is that FedEx next day delivery is no faster than the same service from UPS or even the US Postal Service.  But FedEx’s brand has become a caricature of the its best-known product feature (speedy delivery).  Anyone who saw Castaway knows that FedEx will go to ridiculous lengths to deliver a package on time, right?  FedEx seems faster than competitors even though they aren’t.  This didn’t happen by accident.

You can’t build a brand around false claims — so your caricature needs to be based on reality.  But there’s nothing wrong with accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.  That’s what caricature brands are about.

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2 thoughts on “Brands as Caricatures

  1. Kevin,
    I’ve not been checking your entries for a while and everything from this post backwards had be laughing out loud! You are a great writer and your blog is both informative and entertaining. Thanks for starting one again!!!

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