Beyond Branding: Coherence

In the advertising class I taught at the University of Notre Dame for many years, I would bring a candy bar for each student on a certain day. As you can clearly tell by that, I was a very good teacher.

On the appointed day, I would make sure that every student had a different candy bar brand, all the way down to Zagnut and Zero. I was usually rewarded for this by grins. I removed a crisp five-dollar bill (when I first started teaching, I used to pull out a single dollar, but today’s students are far more demanding; they wouldn’t play along for anything less than five bucks) from my wallet. I held the bill up in the air and said to my students, “Let’s market.”

After a silent moment or two, a bold student would shout, “I have M & Ms. I’ll sell them for five bucks.”

Not to be outdone, other students joined in, calling out the names of their candy bars.

I shook my head at each offer, but provided no other information. The students began to think a little harder. They started to offer more. “This Hershey bar is king size,” one might say. Or, “This Kit Kat has several bars. You can have them all for five bucks.”

Still nothing from me. They’d grow confused, then a little frustrated. Finally, one of the students would ask—often just rhetorically—the million-dollar question. “Well, what DO you want?”


To keep reading

  • Spread the word
Rick Bailey

Rick is the Principal and founding partner at RHB.