The comedian Steven Wright has built a strong brand for himself. One of the primary goals of branding is to not only position your product or company as a solution to a prospect or customer’s need, but it should be the one and only solution. And when it comes to absurd, observational, warped, one-liner stand-up comedy delivered in a distinct, bored monotone, Steven Wright is the one and only. See for yourself (click on the video, below):
In my opinion, Wright’s biggest strength is his brand promise because it meets the four (4) tough requirements all strong brands must measure up to:
• A strong brand promise must be true and believable. If you’ve ever seen one of his performances I think you’ll agree that Wright is everything he’s billed to be. He has not veered one iota from his unique, deadpan stand-up comedy style since he first stepped on stage back in the 80’s. Even his website is consistent with his stage style where he provides a list of books written by him (available nowhere) including Phyllis and Her Eyelids - The story of a man living in a parallel universe who is arrested for inventing hockey.
• A strong brand promise must be proprietary. All branding experts will admit that this requirement is by far the most difficult to achieve because technology allows competitors to quickly copy new and innovative product attributes. To date, nobody that I am aware of has successfully copied Steven Wright’s unique stand-up style.
• A strong brand promise must be sustainable over time. Wright has weathered the ups and downs of the comedy circuit for over 30 years (which I’m guessing is the equivalent of 170 years in any other industry).
• A strong brand promise must be relevant to the target audience. Like many comedians Wright got his start on college campuses and working small clubs. I read a recent interview where he said he’s noticing that people in his audience are in their 40s, 50s and 60s. So he’s decided to remain relevant to those fans, but he’s also going to do some specials and small clubs to become known (relevant) to a younger audience. Smart guy!
Does your brand promise measure up to the standards, above? If not, give me a call. I have an answering machine in my car. It says, I’m home now, but leave a message and I’ll call when I’m out.