Last week, a rum brand called Sailor Jerry held a marketing event in Brooklyn where they gave away free drinks to everyone willing to get a Sailor Jerry tattoo. Two hundred people lined up.
One fan named Sebastian said,
“I’m in love with Sailor Jerry. All I drink is Sailor Jerry. You know what, a lot of people don’t really understand, and I don’t expect them to because Sailor Jerry is mine.”
That’s such a wonderful articulation of what a brand means to a true fan. These are the types of advocates that we need to inspire in marketing. Too often we think of target audiences as blanket catch-alls. Too many brands seem marketed generally to “women, age 18-49, with a pulse”. When we try to appeal to everyone, we don’t appeal to anyone in a very meaningful way. One size fits none.
One commentator at the Sailor Jerry tattoo parlor said, “You couldn’t just be a cereal brand and expect people to get it tattooed on you.”
I disagree. While at method, I learned there are no low interest categories — only low interest brands. Method is a brand of cleaning products. Home cleaning is not the most exciting category. Yet the method brand inspired a fan named Nathan to start a dedicated blog called Method Lust: “One Man’s Unsupressed Lust For All Things Method Home”. Brand tattoos and dedicated fan blogs are artifacts of “loyalty beyond reason”.
Not every brand passes the tattoo test. But the memorable ones do.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)