Many brands make the mistake of trying to be popular. They set out to appeal to everyone, but please no one.
Branding is not a popularity contest, but about finding people who will fall in love with your brand. Yes, there is a difference.
Being popular may put you on the map, but do people actually like you? For instance, Microsoft is a hugely popular brand but I am certain it’s the most cursed brand in the world as well – thanks to stupid-friggin-Windows!
What if a brand yearns to be unpopular? It means the brand takes a unique stand, which most people may hate, but can cultivate a devoted following from whoever’s left. Take UMobile for instance – probably the most unpopular of all the telcos – but they have 2 million registered customers.
Look at it this way, even the most popular brand in the world cannot claim their popularity extends to everyone. Like Astro apparently is Malaysia’s Brand of the Year, which would indicate a high degree of popularity. Obviously they didn’t ask for my opinion.
In a world where little niches appear every single day, there is no way a brand can appeal to everyone, making mass advertising strategies severely flawed.
There’s a saying in showbiz that aptly summarizes taking an unpopular stance:
“When 50% of the people loves you,
and the other 50% hates you; you know you’ve arrived “
So it’s okay to be an unpopular brand, because there will still be a bunch of people who think you are absolutely awesome.
And before you think I’m some kind of branding genius, read Erika Napoletano’s The Power of Un-Popular for more insights. But I can still whip up decent brand strategies you know?