Talkable Brand

I think every CEO, CMO, or marketeer in general wants to do great work. They deeply believe their brand is different, remarkable, and valuable. But there is a difference in believing and doing, and that difference is courage. It is easy to talk about bold & brave decisions and even easier to never make them. Courage is where the rubber meets the road.


Brands that are confident in who they are and what they do are brands that execute talkable ideas. They make courageous decisions, knowing the risks, but also knowing the potential rewards of starting a conversation in the marketplace. Here are a few talkable examples I've seen lately…


Lyft is a new crowd sourced transportation app (or “on demand ride sharing,” as they call it) that uses a pink mustache as an identifier for their drivers. If you see one driving down the street, trust me, you will stop and talk about it.

MailChimp has been launching a series of billboards that are the very definition of confidence. The ads just feature their beloved Freddie character winking and nothing else. Another one, even more brash, uses two side-by-side billboards, with one side being blank (except for the MailChimp blue) and the other with a floating Freddie head. They don’t care if someone doesn’t recognize their mascot. They know their fans will.

Moe’s, a mediocre brand in my opinion, has a “Homewrecker Homerun” campaign at the Brave games that is just too fun. If a Braves player hits a homerun in a paticular inning everyone at the game gets a free burrito. This is a risky promotion. It could be an expensive announcement with minimal impact or, even worse, a super expensive giveaway for 38,000 people. As fate would have it, Freddie Freeman cranked a “Homewrecker Homerun” as the first at bat in the special inning this past Saturday night. The result was a stadium full of people screaming, “We’re getting a free burrito baby!” Even though Moe's isn't that remarkable they've created a pretty fun & talkable promotion that brought me into the store the next day.

Regardless of execution, brands need to start conversations. They need to be talkable and talkability starts with leaders making brave decisions.