It feels like a Friday! This Seinfeld on Marketing is a little different. Instead of the usual interaction between characters, this is from the standup that Jerry does at the beginning and end of each episode of Seinfeld. Enjoy!
Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city, you’re actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean, you are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt, they *hate* him now. Boo! Different shirt!! Boo.
In sports, we most often hold up the team (and their clothes) in higher regard than the individual players. We could cheer for our favorite player on our team, maybe even buy a jersey with his number on it. But if he leave the team, we still root for the clothes and the jersey gets a first class ticket to the back of the closet (or downgraded to “chore-doing-clothes”).
The interesting thing is, this is the exact opposite when we talk about brands. Through the good and bad experiences, we associate our relationship with the people inside the company as the brand, usually more so than even the products themselves.
Take my father-in-law and Sears, for example. More than two decades ago he had a bad experience with someone in one of the Sears stores and he has never gone back since. I’m sure that the employees involved in this “situation” have long since left Sears, yet the memory (and the consequences) still live on. Contrast this to the fact that he has been a fan of a certain collegiate team for more than four decades (and there have been many, many changes in players throughout the years).
Why are brands so different than sports teams? I think it is because employees of a company are the brand, or at least a very big part of it. While the clothes of a sports team often transcend the players, the people inside a company are the living soul of the brand. So who you have representing your brand matters.
This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.