Let’s talk about one of the most famous comic characters of all time: Clark Kent.
Clark Kent is a great guy. He grew up as a literal midwestern farmboy and becomes an award-winning investigative reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. Clark is smart, kind, successful and works hard to make the world a better place, but here’s the thing…
Clark Kent is not exciting.
Clark Kent is nobody’s favorite character.
Clark Kent never gets the girl.
Because Clark Kent is boring, he’s “mild-mannered.”
Just like so many brands out there.
Sure they’re doing good work, creating great products, providing superior customer service and are wonderful all around business…but the ways that they present themselves and their work are as bland, boring and forgettable as Clark Kent.
Being bland, quiet and unassuming aren’t terrible things in a person but they are kryptonite-level deadly for any brand.
Clark Kent isn’t forgotten though because he has an alter-ego. He regularly undergoes a transformation into one of the most unforgettable characters in the world.
Tossing aside the ill-fitting grey suit, signature glasses, and most importantly his blend-into-the-background demeanor, Clark transforms into the most famous of all superheroes; of course, it’s Superman.
It isn’t just that Superman has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man.
He’s bold, powerful and memorable.
Everything from his mission (“never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way”), origins (last son of Krypton), colors (red, blue and yellow), key elements (flapping red cape, the S curl of his hair), to his logo (signature red “S” with yellow background) make him iconic.
So the question for you to consider is, is your brand mild-mannered Clark Kent or more powerful than a locomotive Superman?
If your answer is “Clark Kent,” and if you’re being honest that’s going to be the case for most organizations*, don’t worry, because just as Clark Kent runs into the phone booth and Superman flies out, it is possible to transform your brand from mild-mannered to Superhero.
Agents of Branding’s Superhero Branding Process can give your brand its own iconic elements but the first steps are up to you.
So take a good hard look in the mirror at your brand and if you see mild-mannered staring back at you then you know it’s time to start loosening your tie, taking off your glasses and beginning your transformation from mild-mannered to Superhero.
Until next time.
Agents of Branding
*If you want to see how Agents of Branding escaped own mild-mannered identity to become the champions of Superhero Branding we are today check out this short presentation our Digital Communications Director and I delivered the other day.