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July 2007


Ben Bacon

@Laura: I think your blog touched a very necessary topic. In peoples' desire to feel validated, they commonly look to contradict.

Contradiction commonly stalls otherwise smooth progress. Some people feel the need to be validated, some just feel like piping in, and some simply don't understand something, and have an honest observation and question.

As you so aptly pointed out, these laws exist to guide people do their destination safely. I can do 150 MPH (not in my SUV, but in theory) down I-10 all the way from Phoenix to LA. I have broken the law. If I make it to LA without a ticket, then I am the exception. If I get a ticket, or two, or three, or some jail time, then I would be subject to the law (which is most likely, of course).

@Sam: Wow! You really know your data. I'm so impressed!

Here are my thoughts on the use of the word "diet". To my way of thinking, I believe that it suggests less. Build an entire brand around the "diet" theory, as Snackwells has done, and one will stand for "diet" without stating "diet."

It's the old writing adage: show don't tell. Snackwells shows healthy choices (well, as healthy as cookies can be), Diet Coke says healthy (actually, it really doesn't even suggest healthy, it just suggests "less bad."

The great part is that there are no black and white edges–only gray area in which we branders exist. Gnarly!


I’d yell “wait a minute” Isn’t Pepsi smaller than Coca-Cola so by your advice, shouldn’t they have done a line extension and not a new brand, but I imagine what you mean is the Jones Sodas/Odwallas of the world vs the Pepsies/Cokes of the world, so I’ll be quiet.

I do have a question for you on the not including “diet” comment, as I think it’s an issue a lot of food and beverage companies have trouble deciding on. On the one hand, if you start a whole new brand and add “diet” or “light”, people maybe be confused wondering where the “full”/”Regular” version is and why they never heard of it. On the other hand if your brand is new, the customer probably won’t know it, and if they’re walking down the aisle looking for a diet soda and don’t see the word “diet/light “ glaring them in the face, they’ll assume your product is full call and pass it by. Chances are they aren’t going to stop, pick up your product, turn it around, and read the label to see if maybe you actually are diet. So what do you do and under what circumstances? I might argue the small company should put diet on the label, as their marketing resources are limited, and they need to get the message out to the consumer quickly and cheaply. The big company should be able to leverage their larger resources to get the diet message out to the consumer in another, more intriguing way. But maybe it’s the other way, thoughts?

Thanks for keeping me thinking.

P.S. Maybe they should be, as Jack Sparrow say, “Guidelines” of Branding. The thing with laws is people are always tempted to break them.

P.S.S. RCA (which started NBC), was co-founded by GE, so they didn’t do the whole GE TV or GE Radio, even though they had the chance.

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