I have always wanted to be a better joke teller. As I was searching on the Internet for some tips on how to tell a good joke, I got to thinking about how these delivery tips I read related to branding and marketing (I told you there were a couple of exceptions, so here goes the first. Exception One: Unlike telling a good joke, your branding message may not always be humorous, but it must be good!) Let’s break down the steps to telling a good joke (and communicating an effective brand message):
- Before you say a word, know your joke from memory. (Consumers can tell when you try to fumble your way through your brand message. Not knowing (or living) your message often leads to using “Twinkie phrases”.)
- Know your audience. Not all jokes are appropriate for all settings. (Know the communication style and ideals of your consumers. It’s okay that your brand message is not suited for all consumers. You are trying to make a connection to those consumers who have the same ideology as your brand message.)
- Don’t start off your joke by telling everyone how funny it is – you’ll make your audience defensive (The direct marketing message “Our widget is the coolest on the planet” is just plain lame! If your product or service is cool, your customers will already know it is by word of mouth.)
- Avoid indirect routes when telling your joke. Jokes work best when told using a simple, sequential storyline. (Your brand message must not stray from its core purpose. Your message must be easy enough to understand and spread to others.)
- Commit to your joke. Once you begin, follow through to the end. (Your company must commit to living your brand message from the inside out.)
- End your joke with a strong conclusion or punch line. (Exception Two: The strong conclusion is left up to the consumer to tell herself. You may own the brand message (or may not!), but the consumer owns the meaning of your brand for them).