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Commodity + Brand = Novelty

Commodity + Brand = Novelty

Stewart Hillhouse
Stewart Hillhouse

How strong is your brand? It's a hard thing to measure. A quick way to find out is by asking your audience: "Will you buy a t-shirt from me?"

To see the power of a brand, start by looking at merchandise.

Presuming your main business is not selling t-shirts, asking your audience to buy a shirt from you might come off as unusual. But if an audience identifies with your brand and it fits with the narrative they tell themselves, your people will happily buy your merch.

Take a normal, everyday commodity and add a strong brand to it. What do we get? Novelty merchandise.

Slack sells sneakers.

Tesla sells tequila.

Fast sells hoodies.

Every person that purchases one of these items with real money is stating: "I believe in what this brand is doing, not just in what they're selling."

Because Slack sneakers aren't going to make your team more productive. Tesla tequila won't drive you around. Fast hoodies aren't going to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.

None of these novelty items are connected to the primary value proposition of the business.

But each of these items are a signal to the world in what you believe in.

If your brand is strong, your people will want to make it part of their story. The story they tell the world.

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