We’ve covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks. The topic? What makes a remarkable brand.

So far, we’ve established three traits that are integral to any remarkable brand: Purposeful, authentic, and responsive. Here comes 4/5.

I’m sure we can all think of some pretty non-remarkable brands. As a consumer, what’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a less-than-impressive experience? Anything stand out?

I can tell you something right off the top of my head. Take a look at the ad below:

Look at the “no” button. “No thanks, I hate free money?” Really? Way to make me feel bad about myself because I’m not excited about your offer. And is that really my fault?

From . . .

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When was the last time you were on a support call…for a really long time?

Now imagine that your call is stretching past dinnertime. You’re getting hungry. You’re probably frustrated. And there’s no end in sight.

Ding dong.

There’s a pizza guy at the door. You didn’t order a pizza.

This is exactly what a customer of the global leader in website hosting services, Rackspace, experienced during a support call. Who ordered the pizza? The Rackspace rep.

Picking up on the customer’s frustration and hunger, the Rackspace rep (without any prompting) ordered a pizza and had it delivered to his customer. Now THAT is remarkable.

And this brings me to the third (of five) trait that makes brands remarkable.


Number 3: Responsive

As we’ve studied remarkable brands, this . . .

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So, remarkable…

That’s a huge concept – one that my partners and I have been continually defining since we started Resound in 2009. When it comes to brands at least, I’ve noticed that five traits are typically present in brands that I (and the rest of the world), call remarkable.

They are: Purposeful, authentic, responsive, empowering, and transparent. Last week, we unpacked purposeful – now let’s tackle authentic.

Number 2: Authentic

Ok, I know this word gets thrown around a lot, but hear me out:

Authenticity flows naturally from the purpose: a truly purposeful brand must live what it preaches.

It’s way too easy to throw values on a poster or list them on your website. Remarkable brands work incredibly hard to instill their values into every action . . .

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I talk a lot around here about remarkable brands. I also realize that’s fairly vague.

As I’ve worked with hundreds of brands and studied hundreds more, I’ve become very aware of a handful of traits (literally…a handful…five) that the most remarkable brands share.

Purposeful | Authentic | Responsive | Empowering | Transparent

These are the backbone of every remarkable brand on the planet. Brands that don’t have these five characteristics – or are not at least actively and consistently striving to live out these five – cannot become remarkable.

Yes, there are certainly other characteristics found in remarkable brands. In fact, I’d argue there better be more, as every brand should have unique qualities and traits that reflect their unique views, leadership, culture, and behavior.

But these five . . .

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“We don’t worry about the competition. We just worry about being the best we can be.”

Honestly, that sounds really awesome.

It’s also, honestly, the worst advice I’ve heard in awhile. Customers are constantly bombarded with offers and better offers in a desperate flurry to “win the sale”. And let’s not pretend that humans aren’t constantly shopping around.

Still, you’d be surprised at how many companies take an “ignorance is bliss” approach when it comes to competing for the attention of their target audience. But let’s take the same advice and apply it to a couple different situations:

A coach who doesn’t watch the other team’s game tapes to beat their strategies
A general who literally doesn’t care about the enemy’s numbers or weapon advantage
The . . .

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Let’s play Mad Libs! Exhibiting at trade shows is __(adjective)___. Whatever word popped into your head was likely rooted in an emotion.

Maybe it was positive, maybe it was negative. Either way, you probably have a strong opinion when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows.

If you’ve had great success on the trade show floor, you probably attribute it to your awesome booth design, creative giveaways, and killer product. If you loathe the trade show circuit, you probably hate the logistics involved in getting that amazing booth up and running, or maybe you just don’t believe the ROI is there (but you feel compelled to keep showing up).

Believe me, I can personally relate to both reactions. It’s not easy to put a great trade show experience . . .

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I’ll be honest, I was pretty shocked and disheartened when I found stolen merchandise in my 9-year-old son’s room. On one hand, I was slightly amused that his sticky fingers latched onto two travel-sized hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works.

At least the kid appreciates cleanliness.

On the other hand, I was disappointed that my flesh and blood had committed a crime…and he’s only 9! What made it worse was the fact that I started my career as a police officer. Oh, the irony!

I know I’m not probably not alone here – there’s millions of parents out there dealing with the same issue.

So, we can respond to this situation in many different ways, right? Get angry and act punitively…pile on heavy doses of guilt and . . .

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Think about the McDonald’s logo right now.

What color is that M?

Yup, it’s yellow. Or, gold, if you prefer. (Ya know…Golden Arches?)

I’ll bet it took you .3684 seconds to come up with that answer. Why? Because McDonald’s has been very purposeful in their use of color over the years. When you’re driving down the road and you see that yellow M, there’s no doubt that a Big Mac and Coke are within reach (and if you’re hungry…they just bought themselves some business).

Why do you think they chose gold/yellow? Could it be because yellow is very easily seen? How about because yellow denotes friendliness/happiness? With a tagline like I’m Lovin’ It, they’d certainly want to stay away from colors like sludge green . . .

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“The 2017 bob-length haircut… Six ways to make a mason jar salad….23 Words or Phrases to Eliminate from Your Marketing Today… Wait, words to eliminate? I’ll bet I use more than half of these…unless it’s all buzzwords. I’d better make sure.”


Well, one thing’s for sure…Pinterest knows me too well.

Also, Global English Editing advises cutting out a few words and phrases to make writing more concise, direct, and persuasive. Being the word junkie that I am, I wanted to see if they had indeed achieved the holy grail of copywriting.

The infographic is linked above if you want to take a look, but I’ll summarize their recommended words to shed:

“Very, basically, totally, essentially, and really” – nondescript
“Then” – nondescript
“Each and every” – . . .

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