Effective Branding: should a Brand Concept be developed according to the KISS principle?

What do you think of this slogan / brand concept I spotted on Saturday’s AirAsia flight from Saigon to Bangkok for Lee Jeans?
I can imagine the many meetings and discussions on emotional laddering the team @LeeJeansThailand went through before reaching this rather overanalyzed and disconnected concept of  “Staying Curious”.

Let me try and deconstruct the marketing teams thought pattern, so everyone can follow this bit of marketing mastery. Ready? Here goes: Lee sells jeans.. Jeans look nice when they have that worn look.. That worn look is achieved when you explore things in life.. People that explore things in life are people who are curious. To sell more Lee jeans we need more people to stay

curious? Are you still with me?
Of course this Slogan comes as part of a nifty little integrated 360 marketing approach where the Lee target audience of curious people apparently includes AirAsia travellers from Saigon to Bangkok, so ideally suited for a bit of low cost branding on overhead compartments. Cannot wait to see the spike in sales at Lee airport shops (too bad they missed the AirAsia in-flight sales opportunity).

Sophisticated, smart and creative.. or not? I guess I don’t belong to this curious crowd who can’t wait to get off the flight and go fetch myself a nice pair of shiny new Lee Jeans. I was one of those people that napped most of the flight..

For a brand concept to actually be relevant we sometimes need to forego with what we at Square44 internally refer to as “Branding BS”. It’s that instinctive “Yeah right” moment where you frown you eyebrows and cringe as you listen to someone attempting to sell 6 degrees of seperation as an integrated communication concept.

Marketeers.. when in doubt, please just follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) when it comes to writing brand concepts. Involve and co-create with consumers to understand what your brand actually means to them and from there look for a clear simple focused message that further builds on key attributes you want to see associated to your brand, perhaps evolving and adding one or two new ones in line with your strategic vision on how you would like your audience to perceive your brand in their mind.

John Wanamaker (1838-1922) one of the earliest pioneers in marketing once uttered one of the more famous quotes in marketing that still applies to this day  “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”
I am guessing the Lee Thailand efforts will belong to the wasted marketing dollars category but I’m interested to hear what the marketing community thinks. Is “Staying Curious” the space you associate with Lee Jeans and can you imagine it to be the next big thing that will help the brand to build and enhance its image and see sales spike or do we categorize this as another bit of “Branding BS”?

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