Almost 30 years ago, I did stand up comedy at the Improv in L.A. At that time there were very few comedy clubs here and maybe 3 women comics going up on stage. I wasn’t good. But thanks to my writing and the neck brace I had to wear from having been sideswiped in an accident, audiences had a few laughs and treated me humanely enough when I bombed. Which was close to nightly for two years. However, I discovered a few things about great branding and how similar it is to stand-up:
1. In comedy, like in your business, your audience decides in your first 4 seconds out there whether or not you are going to bomb.
2. Trying to define what makes people laugh is like trying to define what makes people love your brand. Academics aside, it's not easy. You can predict and then deliver. But if you’re delivering the predictable you’re not a brand. You're just another commodity. Note: predictable and reliable are not the same thing.
3. Your brand is an emotional connection. That connection is invisible. Like on stage, you can have a million dollar logo, bells, whistles, marketing budget and great jokes like no other,but no surprising and delightful intangibles, no emotional connection.
Which brings me to George Carlin whose 78th birthday would have been May 12th. And who made an emotional connection on me like no other. Synchronicity did me a big solid the day I got to meet Carlin at lunch a few months before his death in 2008. A great brand and although he would roll over in his grave to read this, a brand philosopher.
He said, what is to me the most important and profound tool you can pick up if you want a chance at being and building a brand that stands out: “Think off-center.”
Think off-center. And if you need help doing that, I'd love to hear from you. I can help.
Next time I'll tell you more about meeting Carlin, comedy and how it can relate to and serve your brand.
Thank you for reading!
Let the good times roll.