Episode 10


What does it mean to be a brand?

One of the most critical barriers to success is understanding what a brand is and what a brand is NOT. I get this question all the time. Let me tell you what a brand is NOT: A brand is NOT a name, logo, tag-line, package design or the product itself. I call these elements: Window-dressing your brand. A brand is simply an EMOTIONAL IDENTITY that differentiates products, services and people.

As a former marketing executive at global multi-billion dollar consumer products companies like Nabisco, Kraft Foods, Cadbury and Godiva, I successfully crafted emotional identities for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Over the course of 25 years, a frequent challenge I faced was communicating the role a brand played in consumer’s lives…in other words its Core Value. To solve this problem, I developed a process to label that brand’s Core Value using just ‘One Word’. This helps consumers understand what they are actually buying.

During this series, I will select a brand I worked on or studied and share it’s ‘One Word’ Core Value, as well as share valuable topics in the branding arena that will help you Stand-Out Conquer Obstacles and Reach Excellence…in other words, SCORE.

So let’s turn to today’s brand clip… VOLVO

Show Notes (click to expand)

Candy bars are impulsive purchases. Walk down any candy or

checkout aisle in your supermarket or convenience store and

you’ll be hit with anywhere from 10 to 50 brands. People make

that impulsive grab for many reasons; so if you want to be the

candy bar that people most reach for, your brand must remain top-



SNICKERS has long understood a key insight in snacking that

“You’re not you when you’re hungry”. They memorialized this

observation in their 2010 ad campaign of the same name and

launched it during the #1 sporting event of the year, the Super

Bowl. In doing so, they not only captured their target audience, but also placed their commercial front and center for over 100 million viewers to see.

The spot, called “Game,” featuring actress, comedian and TV personality Betty White, shows this adorable little old lady playing a game of football with a group of young men who are obviously frustrated with her lack of athletic skills. When one of her teammates asked why she was “playing like Betty White out there,” viewers realized that she was actually a guy named Mike’s hungry alter ego. When Mike’s girlfriend ran over and handed her a Snickers bar, she was immediately transformed from Betty White back into tough guy Mike and the game resumed.

This commercial topped the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter poll as

the No. 1 ad during the game. The “You’re Not You When You’re

Hungry” catchphrase has become one of the most recognizable brand

slogans of today.

Snickers capitalized on portraying the emotional symptoms of hunger as being oppositional to normal behavior and offered their candy bar as a solution.

Not only did this insight resonate globally among men, but being

“quote-unquote HANGRY” was something that every human being could identify with. When you’re hungry, you’re just not yourself. And, when you’re not yourself, it has a real impact on your ability to remain part of the

Pack. Snickers is the go-to solution for fast-acting hunger relief. 

Why? Because it’s packed with peanuts and SATISFIES hunger.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this:

o Your product is NOT your brand.

o Your brand is your Core Value…AND

o You use your product as the vehicle to drive your Core Value.

o SNICKERS uses their candy bar to drive their Core Value of


The next time you’re “quote-unquote HANGRY”, remember:


I’m Rich Keller, The CATALYST and see you next time on The


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