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Could Brand Familiarity Breed Contempt? 😴

Updated: Nov 6

99er | Strategy | < 99 seconds to read


In a year where everything has been turned upside down, maybe it’s time for some contrary thinking. Maybe it’s time to stop turning to quotes from Burnett, Ogilvy and the rest, and instead we should turn to a true national treasure – Alan Partridge:

“People forget that on the Titanic's maiden voyage there were over 1000 miles of uneventful, very pleasurable cruising”

OK, bear with me. A bit of old-school psychology points to the peak-end rule - where events are remembered for their most remarkable and final moments, so to stand out brands should concentrate on improving these aspects of the customer experience – the surprise and delight.

This isn’t about driving your brand into an iceberg, and it certainly doesn’t mean turning to North Norfolk’s number one radio host for branding tips, but instead simply trying to be memorable.


We all thrive for brand consistency, trying to create a voice and an identity that resonates and stays top-of-mind, and in a world where physical and mental availability is everything - it makes a lot of sense.

But when does a brand become predictable, and ultimately turn stale?


With many brand budgets being cut faster than you can say lockdown, the real danger will be spreading their efforts thinly, attempting to make marginal improvements to every touchpoint, and in turn creating consistent mediocrity.

Instead, we could encourage the dedication of a small part of the budget for ‘iceberg moments’. Being prepared to do something un-expected and exciting, that can peak interest. A short campaign that breaks the mould. Unexpected collaborations, limited edition drops (whatever the product), or simply ephemeral content that makes no sense but has plenty of fun.


When it comes to the ‘end’ touchpoint, a little random act of kindness can go a long way too. Whether it’s a pack of Haribo packed in the delivery, or using CRM as a method for the unexpected rewarding of loyalty rather than the pedestrian approach of trying to encourage it.


In the year where anything goes, creativity will always be your biggest catalyst for change. You won’t find it in board meetings or buried in spreadsheets. It doesn’t come from copy and paste content, or peering over your shoulder at the competitors. Yes, it comes from sure thinking, but most importantly in the freedom of imagination and its ability to deliver the unexpected, and perhaps help brands to ‘peak’.


James Hickman | Strategy Director


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