As someone who commutes to downtown Cleveland from the south, I have the luxury of looking at the traffic snafus caused by the filming of Captain America a little differently. I don’t see gridlock. I see the opportunity to meet an unmet need. And, in this case, it’s a highly emotional need — which, when it comes to successful branding and business, is the best kind of need there is. Think about it. Right now, how much would westsiders pay to dump their cars in Rocky River to bypass the temporary Shoreway closure with a quick ferry ride to Voinovich park?
Granted, as an ongoing venture, the idea has issues, such as reliance on a thoroughfare that’s frozen and impassable for several months every year. That would really cut down on my annual volume of customers. I’m going to have to charge a lot!
But that’s not my point. This is my point. When launching a new product or service, developing a brand or embarking on a rebranding effort, never lose sight of the fact that your chances for success are greatly improved if its introduction will meet some unfulfilled need. There have been endless new brands dreamt up that boasted a neat feature or two, but they didn’t really satisfy any perceived need. So they failed.
A critical part of the branding process here at Melamed Riley is identifying the key emotional need that a brand satisfies. Because when you uncover that — and it’s a really good one — you can sell just about anything. Like $20 boat rides. One way.