Photo: Totally Memphis
I have recently discovered a small PASSIONATE team of people that created one of the most unusual brands I have seen in a while.
They’re called Freaker USA Inc, and they create funky, over-the-top color-overkill bottle coolers that coat your bottles and drinks.
I’m sooo amazed by what they do…I HAD to write a post about them, and share with you the gold nuggets that makes this small team such a successful brand.
So, what can you learn from the freaks ? Plenty.
Let’s start with something obvious…
Use an unusual name.
Whenever you think you should use the obvious, market-related name for your brand, you need to be slapped in the face !
You know those culprits:
- McKenzie and Sterling ( for law firms)
- WordPress blogger (for people making money with blogging)
- Creative Design (for designers and design agencies)
Those names are obvious like hell, trite, and bore the shit out of your potential clients. Why ?
Because they have been used a trillion times before. “Hey, let’s start a design company. Let’s call it something like xxx design, wow, that’s cool !” or “Mmm, I want to build a biz about making money blogging, I should call myself xxx blogger, that’S COOL !”.
No it’s not.
It’s fucking pathetic.The Freaker team must have thought similarly, and instead of calling themselves bottle cooler or something obvious like that, they went for Freaker USA, because it a) fits their hip, crazy style and b) sparks interest and conversation.
People think: ”What the hell is Freaker USA ?” and you know what ? They will look online and check it out.
Bootstrap and crowdsource
Even if you have a physical biz, you should use as few money as you need, and if you need more, find a way to get it without nasty conditions.
The Freaker did need a fair amount of money, but instead of getting big amounts of venture capital and prostituting themselves, they went for crowdsourcing.
That ensured that they don’t become dependent on someone else, keep their creative control and create products that THEY luved instead of going for the quick buck.
With the options you have today – online access and crowdsourcing platforms like kickstarter.com, you can easily build your (physical) biz with as little money as possible.
Don’t sell a product, sell an experience.
The magic recipe that most people keep forgetting…shame and blame on them. If you are sober and logical, you could see that the Freak team actually sell a commodity that seems a bit more funky than most.
But is it really true ?
No fucking way.
The Freaker team don’t just sell a bottle cooler that looks a bit funky, they deliver a whole funky, lifestyle experience:
Funny videos, color overload on every dimension and a CEO that seems to time-travel back from the 70s – not only do they tell a fun-funky story, they LIVE it.
This is what marketing guru Seth GODin always says:”Tell a lie AND live the lie”, which means you believe the brand story you share with the world.
No matter how smart and logical you are – if you like that story, you will be EMOTIONALLY drawn to buying that product, and you will feel GRRREAT doing it.
Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself.
I believe that 95% of you don’t run businesses that actually SAVE lives. So why so serious ? A lot of brands behave like paralyzed robots that act like having a metal rod stuck up their asses. And that’s fucking boring.
The Freaker team knows they don’t sell world-changing, life-saving products, and that’s why they make it FUN.
When you check out their videos and posts, you immediately begin to think: what kind of illegal substance have they been smoking ?
They dress crazily, talk gibberish and create comedy that seems unrelated to their product.
In short, they are having a fun fun fun time and they show it. The audience feels it, and more importantly…they LUV it.
In fact, some of them just bought those bottle coolers because they liked the team so much.
Now that’s powerful branding.
Who says you have to write ? Maybe your mother.
The Freak team produces lots of high-quality, entertaining-like-hell videos that feel like the Muppet show on acid. And that’s cool, because it leverages their visual color-overload style and comedic qualities.
Lots of people, and that includes some of my clients, think that you have to do “that” because everyone else is doing it this way.
Well, that’s bullshit with capital “B”.
You should use whatever medium you want to use.
If you suck at writing, drop it like a hot macaroni and do whatever FEELS easy for you. Maybe your soul belongs to video, or you rock hard at podcasting. Whatever is more comfortable to you IS THE WAY TO GO, because THAT affinity is going to impact your audience.
Conclusion for ya soul
Can you see the common denominator here ? It’s about having FUN with your brand and doing things your way – going against what boring people would expect from you and delivering an experience unlike anything else.
What do you think of the brand Freaker USA ?
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