Besting the Competition
The worst thing you can say about your company today is that you’re the best. Not because it sounds pompous or conceited, but it is simply inaccurate. As a society we have evolved from using “best” as a legitimate descriptor, and yet businesses do not seem to understand that “best” has no meaning.
The overwhelming amount of advertisements we are exposed to on a daily basis has allowed us as a species to become a society of skeptics. When a company claims to be the “best” in their industry, we no longer just assume it to be so. Usually, a company will claim it’s “the best” based on nothing more than opinion, making it a false claim. Why do they get away with it? Because it is really hard to prove “best” on paper. “Best” has dropped in value.
So why do companies that want to be rebranded still describe themselves as the “best”? They haven’t told us anything about their company by claiming this word, and I don’t have any basis to distinguish such a claim. All I have is their word that they are the utmost superior company in the entire industry in every single aspect. This rarely happens in business today, so why are we still using “best” as a selling point? There’s got to be a better way to express superiority. Our society has become somewhat obsessed with the idea of categorizing everything we do and see. We have Pinterest to organize our hobbies, thoughts and ideas. We have indexed our lives into social media platforms. We have something called The Container Store. We even fantasize about sectionalized societies like those in The Hunger Games and The Divergent Series. We have become quite organized compared to our ancestors.
Brand Archetyping is the process of categorizing companies into a caricature or persona to better analyze their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. This exercise leverages that aforementioned organization compulsion so that with a consistent message and an established Brand Archetype, people can make a cohesive reference to a familiar set of qualities in order to better understand the philosophy of a company.
No company has the capacity to be perfect. Even the Mighty Apple has fallen from grace. So let’s cut the BS and admit you have flaws. What are they? Admitting your weaknesses does not make you a failed company, but rather a mature, self-aware company that is able to confidently claim legitimate descriptive words to express their company culture that is unique to them amongst the competition.
Let’s take a look at the beverage industry as an example. Coca-Cola has kept more or less the same logo since the 19th century. Why have they been able to get away with this while Pepsi struggles to find a new mark every 5 years? Because Coca-Cola had a message to express from the very beginning; this beverage is handcrafted and has a unique recipe, period. Over and done with. They are not trying to say they’re the best, and yet we associate them as number 1 in the cola industry because the brand has come to stand for quality over the years. “Best” has been earned, not fabricated. Now, Coca-Cola has been able to branch out from their original brand mark to celebrate 125 years of quality. Their brand has a very solid archetype, embodying the Innocent. Coca-Cola is about happiness and enjoying the little things in life.
Pepsi continues to search for their true identity. The Original “Brad’s Drink” that became Pepsi Cola only became popular when the logo switched to a similar mark to the one of Coca-Cola, in 1898. When Pepsi started to learn that they were riding the coattails of their competitor, they decided to branch out into the “Pepsi Sphere” mark we have seen dozens of iterations of. What does the Pepsi Sphere mean? The most general answer is that the colors are the ones on the American flag, and Pepsi is America’s drink.
Why Pepsi? Why should you be America’s Drink? America has spoken and we have picked Coca-Cola (who has beaten Pepsi in sales by massive numbers for 20 years running, according to NASDAQ.com), so what makes you think you’re the best?
In a world where we are all winners, and being the “best” means nothing, what do you have to say about your company?
If you’d like to learn more about crafting a meaningful message, give us a call at 888-420-5115.Tags: best company, brand archetyping, coca-cola, competition, logo, pepsi, rebranding