Homer Simpson Aces Authentic Branding Test

In our last chat, Homer asked me, “How do I know WHEN to sell, market or brand?”

And while we spent some time discussing the Role of Authentic Branding,
we didn’t have get around to covering the roles of  marketing or sales.

Yesterday, Homer dropped by to finish that conversation. “Hey Homer!”
I greeted him. “It’s good to see you again!” Homer smiled and flopped down onto my sofa.

“Now before we start on this conversation,” I began, “Tell me what you remember from our conversation last week when discussed the role of Authentic Branding.”

“It’s too early for a test!” Homer protested. “It’s only 10 am!”

“Is there a better time?” I asked.

“Nah, it’s always too early for a test. OK…I’ll do it now.”

Homer looked thoughtful.  Then he held up his hand and began to count off points on his fingers.

“The role of an Authentic Brand … firstly, is to communicates clearly what it is and what it is one of.”

“Right on Homer,” I encouraged, “Can you give me an example of that?”

he replied. “Duff’s is beer and beer is an alcoholic beverage.”
He paused and then added, with a reflective smile. “A most excellent alcoholic beverage!”

“Anything else?” I probed.

“Yes, an Authentic Brand has something special about it that makes people choose it over other brands.” He hesitated and then went on to ask. “Would that special thing about the Fox Television brand be that it broadcasts The Simpson’s?”

“That would certainly contribute to what makes Fox unique, special and different from other broadcast networks.” I agreed.  “Good example, Homer!”

“Point three,” Homer continued, folding back his third finger, “An Authentic Brand appeals to the people who want and need it.” He hesitated, “Or is it that the Authentic Brand gives them something they want or need?”

“It’s a bit of both, Homer.” I answered. “For example, The Simpson’s target market faces the same challenges that you, your family and friends do.  So watching The Simpson’s characters work through these challenges gives your target market the benefits of:
1. normalizing their challenges (they see they’re not alone in their struggles)
and laughing at them,
both of which minimize them.”

Homer scrunched up his face. “That made my brain hurt!” He objected.
“Can you say that in a way that’s less painful?”

“Of course,” I replied, sympathetically. “Watching your show makes your target market feel better.” “Phew!” Said Homer, taking his head out of his hands. “That made me feel better – now I can think again.”

“Are there any other roles that an Authentic Brand fulfills?” I asked.

“Yes. OK. On to point 4.” Homer folded his thumb in on top of the three fingers he had already counted down. “All I have to do is keep being me, and that keeps my brand authentic.”

“Right again!” I confirmed. “An Authentic Brand is believable and credible.”

“Last one!” Homer said smiling happily, then he shook his fist at me. “What’s wrong?” I asked, confused by his conflicting gestures. “Nothing!” Homer grinned cheekily, “It’s just that I’m all out of fingers and thumbs so I’m counting point 5 with my fist!” We laughed as he shook his fist again, to emphasize his intent, then went on to say…

“Point 5 is that an Authentic Brand is consistent. So as long as I keep being me, and my writers don’t get any dumb ideas about making me do dumb things,” Homer shot me a narrow eyed look, clearly recalling our conversation about him running off to Montreal with another man.
“As long as I stay consistent, I’ll stay on-brand!”

“That’s right!” I agreed and went on to add, “I’m very impressed!
You really got a lot out of our last conversation!”

He smiled and shot me a quick grin. “I guess it takes an Authentic Brand to know one! Ha Ha!”

We both chuckled for a minute, then Homer sketched some rapid forward circles in the air with his hand… “So let’s get on with the show, Ms Authentic Branding Guru…What’s the role of marketing?”