I was driving home the other day and “noticed” a guy trying to hitchhike.
I say “noticed” because he was almost impossible to miss. He was wearing a bright red velour tracksuit, Santa Claus red, standing on the side of the highway.
I don’t generally pick up hitchhikers and if you intentionally look crazy you’re SOL in my ride. I looked back in the rear-view mirror and saw that I was apparently not alone in this line of thinking.
But – it did make me think about the message. Did this dude wake up that morning and say “Hmm, what can I wear that will attract the right attention today?” before deciding on this stunning ensemble? Branding himself as unique is going to ensure that many vehicles will drive right by him, probably pointing him out to the other passengers while laughing, but it will likely earn him a ride from someone that loves his look. This guy wanted a ride, seemingly with someone that shared his fashion sense. If he wanted a ride with just anyone, maybe he would have dressed like everyone.
On the highway that is your business, do your brand activities match your needs? Do you want to appeal to everyone, or do you want only those that love you or your products?
I’m not saying that one way is better than the other, only that there should be a strategy with either option. Think about the message you are sending, and what the impact that it will have on the recipient. Do your actions support your brand, or are you muddying the message? With the right strategy you can prepare to get the ride you are looking for. Who knows, maybe you’ll get picked up sooner rather than later!