There’s no crying in branding!

My apologies to Tom Hank’s hard-headed and testosterone-flush character Jimmy Dugan from the film, A League of Their Own. But a curve on his memorable movie line delivers a strong pitch for all us peanut vendors selling branding services.

Why is this line and movie scene so memorable? Keeping with the whole baseball analogy, a brand strategist would chalk it up to velocity – emotional velocity to be more accurate.

The emotional velocity from this scene would easily register 98 mph on the radar gun. It was superbly delivered without excessive production value or smothered in stats like so much advertising trying to sell with flash or facts. While one could argue that those approaches have been effective marketing communication strategy for some companies, they require major media dollars to drill the message into consumer’s heads. And, in an era with cable programming and digital recording, interactive media, social media and mobile marketing strategies, even these approaches may no longer have the culminate effect to get the job done.

Human emotion is what makes messages memorable and a brand relevant to customers, even more so today. Producing tears of joy from a perfectly delivered comedic routine or crocodile tears from a gut wrenching story well told, is the real game. Finding the most relevant emotional connection between your brand and your customers is what creates brand value and preference. Bringing it to life and hurling it across the plate on game day and every day is what matters. It’s how brand strategists help companies to grab market share. It’s a big part of strategic brand management and what gives products and services sustainable and defensible positions over their competition.

Without emotional velocity, without making an impression on your customer’s heart as well as their head, it’s likely your message will be one of a million throwaway lines at the movies. It won’t be remembered at all. Point of views and threaded messages that are interesting, engaging, relevant, likeable and unexpected – these are the communications upon which a successful brand management is built. So why not make them cry or laugh if it’s true to your brand and will keep your best customers coming back for more.


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