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From the Trenches

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Or The Business Benefits of Being Goofy | Part 1: Why Your Brand Should Be Goofy

Right Source | November 9, 2010

Put your business suit away, and pull on your wizard robes—goofy brands sell.

Take Albus Dumbledore, the speaker of the famous nonsense words at the beginning of this post’s title. (No need to mention the whole “fiction” thing, because we all know the Harry Potter books are documentaries of an alternate universe). Dumbledore was the most legit wizard around, but he was also one of the goofiest. His goofiness made him into more than a leader: it made him beloved.

In all seriousness, content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi has a list of “Content Marketing Truths” hanging above his desk. Number 11 on that list is: “That the competition can copy everything you have, except your brand. Communications is the differentiator.”

So why not set yourself apart from your competitors, and have a little fun while you’re at it? Of course, your brand should be congruent with your business – no one wants to take their mortgage to a bank that makes jokes about foreclosures on their homepage. Still, in most industries, there are appropriate ways to be lighthearted, and profit from goofiness.

To the meat of the matter – some reasons why being goofy works:

1. It’s viral. Funny, quirky content is more contagious than the stomach flu in a freshman dorm.

2. It catches attention. For example, nothing makes people look like shouting “DINOSAUR!” in the middle of a crowded room. Try it in the office tomorrow if you don’t believe me. Goofy content wakes people up and distracts them from the everyday doldrums.

3. It’s personal. It takes a real person to come up with something goofy, and people like to buy things from other people. Especially if those other people have a sense of humor.

4. It’s hip. Old fashioned is fine and good, but in the age of YouTube Kittens, being goofy is in style.

5. It’s positive. Why so serious? People should smile when they thinkabout your brand, or else.

I ballpit-y the fool who messes with me! Bazinga.


6. It’s confident. Show off that you know your stuff enough to take risks. You’ll make your competitors look stodgy and conservative in comparison. Bazinga!

7. It creates a fun workplace. Happy employees do better work, and will be better advocates for your company. Set a fun tone for the workplace with goofy content.

If you’re not convinced, look out for Why Being Goofy Builds Business Part 2, coming soon with examples of goofy brands that work.

In the meantime, comment and share your stories and thoughts—has being goofy worked for your brand? Or resulted in utter disaster?

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About Right Source:

The Marketing Trenches blog provides thought leadership from actual marketing practitioners, not from professional thought leaders. Designed to help business leaders make more educated marketing decisions, our insights come directly from our experience in the trenches. You can find more from Right Source on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.