What does it really mean to be a truly “brand-driven” enterprise in the new economy? Many persist in defining brand as the external image of a company, product or service. In reality, brand-driven companies know intuitively it is first an...
***** I have two favorite Disney stories. I will share one tonight and save the other. When I worked at M&M/Mars we were in negotiations with Disney to be the Official Snack Food in the park. Our President Randy Web told us, at the conference to announce our partnership, he was most impressed by an unscripted moment.
Web, the President of M&M/Mars during much of my tenure, told the story of walking the park with then Disney President Frank Wells (later killed in a helicopter crash). In the middle of a hundred million dollar conversation Wells paused. Spying a small bit of trash on the ground Wells bent down, picked it up and after looking around for a convenient trashcan placed the wrapper in his pocket.
Wells lightly touched Randy's shoulder and they continued walking as if nothing happened. Randy Web decided to do the deal in that moment. It is impossible to fake passion, belief and truth. M&M/Mars became the official snack food of Disneyland before the year was out because had Wells ever visited the M&M's plant in Hackettstown he would have been able to safely eat off the floor of the operating room, the beyond clean room where M&M's are made.
All brands start and are nurtured by simple, persistent and passionate acts of belief, acts of faith. Brand magic always starts INTERNAL inside a company and moves EXTERNAL to the hearts and minds of customers creating advocates and finally friends.
P.S. Don't forget to bug me to share my 2nd war story about negotiatons with Disney at M&M.