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Why this UPS video is one of my favorite examples of branding at its best.

Watch this video.

Now, answer truthfully: Did you wipe your eyes?

That’s branding: associating a powerful emotion with a product or service that makes a lasting impact. It’s especially important for service professionals because what they sell isn’t tangible.

It’s an experience.

Done right, it’s one you will remember. Done really right, it’s one you want to share with others. The UPS video has been shared 3.1M times as of this writing. That’s right: A branding video for a package delivery company has far more views than the first 50 videos on Madonna’s YouTube page.

Makes me think great branding has nothing to do with celebrity.

That’s a big challenge for many people today. One of the artifacts of a social-media crazed world is the concept that everyone needs a viral brand. Big companies and individual salespeople all measure their brand based upon popularity. 

Personally, I don’t buy it.

The best brands create deep experiences people remember. Even UPS’s brown trucks – arguably more of a brand image than their actual logo – isn’t really alive unless we see the little boy driving it joyfully.

That’s what goes viral.

Notice what was missing in this ad: No mention of their “on time” stats; no numbers of “how many” packages they deliver; not a hint at “how much more awesome than the competitor” they were. Not their stuff. But you knew that, right? Nobody experiences a brand – or a person – through their stats. Or loyally refers them because they carried a smartphone when their competitor carried a clipboard.

Great brands are about emotions.

Tiffany’s: Anticipation of Delight.
Mercedes: Sense of accomplishment.
Mandarin Oriental: Relaxation.
UPS: Caring about the little things.

We quickly forget about their features, processes and even price.
But we never forget how they make us feel.

Think about it, the next time you take out your marketing pen, keyboard or video camera.


Hat tip to my friend Rosemary for sending me this video this morning. You made my day!