From the Trenches

The Business Benefits of Being Goofy | Part 2: Best of Goofy Brands

Right Source | November 16, 2010
Aflac Duck

Last week, I covered some basic business benefits of being goofy, and revealed my inner Harry Potter geek. This week, we’ll look at some real world examples (Will and Mike wouldn’t let me use Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes) of businesses that have built goofy brands.

It may not be possible for every brand to be as quirky and wise as Albus Dumbledore, my personal goofy hero, but there are some brands that come close. Especially in digital and interactive marketing, there are endless opportunities for brands to have some fun. Facebook, Twitter, and corporate blogs practically beg for a little personality.

Here’s a look at five brands that teach us all a little about the art of being goofy:

1. MailChimp. Adding subscribers to email lists is pretty boring. Luckily, MailChimp is there with a little bit of goofiness at each step of the way. Their lovable primate mascot is always at the ready with links to random YouTube videos and more, like this call out:

I thought the only noises they made was "ooh ooh ah ah." And why is he wearing a hat?

2. Aflac. The duck! Even though Aflac’s business is pretty serious – you don’t think laughing out loud when you think accident and illness insurance – Aflac’s brand is about as goofy as can be.  Their website is adorable, but also gets the message across.

3. E*TRADE. Online investing? Ugh, who cares. But E*TRADE, that’s another matter. Yet one more boring business, made lovable by goofiness. Talking babies with smart phones? Who can resist?

4. Google. Google’s powerful online presence is supported by its goofy brand. Whether it’s a holiday specific logo redesign, or the “I’m feeling lucky” feature, Google isn’t afraid to goof off.  And when it comes to love and respect, Google is definitely on the Dumbledore level.

5. Two words: Old Spice.

Any favorites to add to my list? Comment away!

For more background, check out last week’s post, The Business Benefits of Being Goofy Part 1. To learn how to make your business goofy, look out for Part 3, coming next week.

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