I’ve been trying to bring in great examples of marketing from other, non-ski brands as of late. For the most part, if you scroll through the recent archives, you’ll see that I’ve failed.
Partly because I had so much other cool stuff to write about. Partly because my view can become a little myopic on ski.
But there’s a campaign that’s starting to roll out from Clif Bar that I think is worth a closer look.
Make it Good
That tagline, as is often the case, is a play on words between the way Clif Bar makes products and the way they try to do business in the world.
But like all taglines and logos and names for that matter, the interpretation is created by the messaging that surrounds it. Messaging that attempts to assign a more specific, intentional, concrete meaning that the marketers behind the scenes are hoping for.
For example, their social bio clarifies the dual meaning:
Whether it’s our food, our planet, or our relationships with our people – we’re on a mission to do one thing and one thing only – #MakeItGood
But recent videos have really started to develop the tone for the campaign. Here’s the first one I saw.
When you aren’t working for the suits, you can run a different kind of business. One that isn’t driven by one financial bottom line, but by 5 bottom lines: sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet. #makeitgood pic.twitter.com/IahUmPugJn
— CLIF Bar (@ClifBar) July 18, 2019
It’s an interesting angle, so let’s dig into those elements a little.
First, they are saying serious things in a way that makes you naturally let your guard down. It’s sort of a hotels.com “Captain Obvious” concept. An approach that’s more and more common and, in my opinion, works pretty well.
Us vs Them
And with that guard down, they aren’t afraid to jump right into the us versus them comparison. But notice it’s more about Clif versus a sterotype than Clif versus a specific brand. Attacking someone wouldn’t match the “make it good” vibe, so it’s a smart way to positioning without pointing fingers too directly.
But the that’s most interesting is the one more and more brands are using fairly successfully; humor. No brand likes to be called out, and social media has made back-and-forths between logos fairly common, but with humorous exaggerations of those stereotypes, it’s really hard to rebut. What is Larabar going to say, “no, our CEO doesn’t actually run golf coins on her face?”
I think the key here, more than anything, is simply building on something that already exists. No brand in the world could suddenly flip a switch and become a “good” company overnight.
In Clif’s case, this culture was already defined long, long ago and out there in the market.
What Clif did was give that already strong message a little bit of help. It gave it a face, a name, and something that could stick in folks’ heads a little easier.
That’s almost an unfair advantage, but it still takes execution to pull it off. And, look around, chances are you’ve got some pretty solid angles to work with as well in the people and community and history that surrounds your resort.
Don’t force your resort into a brand that doesn’t work, build on what you already have.
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