Furbies teach us about branding

What Can Furbies Teach You About Branding?

Furbies teach us about branding

I’ll preface this post by explaining that I grew up in the 90s.

Tamagotchi. Furbies. Backstreet Boys. These are just three examples of brands that remind me of sleepovers at my cousins’ duplex where we’d listen to our Boom Boxes for hours to record our favorite songs on mix tapes, munching on sugary Dunkaroos and drinking Hi-C. To say I have an emotional connection with dozens of now discontinued brands of snacks, toys, and TV shows would be an understatement. And I’m not the only one, either. There’s even an unsuccessful petition or two floating around to bring some of them back.

Remember those flying fairy dolls called Sky Dancers? They were recalled for randomly smacking children in the face and causing blindness, broken teeth and ribs. However, 90s memorabilia die-hards need not fear, you can still buy one in mint condition for four times its original price.

And Surge, Coca-Cola’s late 90s answer to Mountain Dew, can now be enjoyed for a mere $99.99.

But what is it about these toys and snacks, some of which were later deemed dangerous, if not downright disgusting (really Heinz, purple ketchup?) that moves consumers to spend thousands on Ebay for the chance to experience them again?

Branding. It’s the emotional connection that customers have with you and the product you provide.

It’s behind the product placement of Reece’s Pieces in E.T. The Power Rangers action figures that kids lobbied their parents for after watching the movie. My very own light-up Lion King sneakers that made my 5 year-old-self feel instantly cooler because they had Nala pictured on them.

So why should you invest in building your brand? Because emotional connection can supersede quality, taste, and apparently even the safety of a product. The impact of good branding can last for decades, even after that product is no longer available for purchase. At 360 Direct, all our clients are infinitely proud of the products they produce. How much more effectively could you communicate your own company pride with a brand as solid as the Polly Pockets still available on Ebay? At the end of the day, your product should help tell a story surrounding consumers’ varied, emotionally charged experiences in order to garner their loyalty. That story is your brand.

So nurture your brand, and create customers for decades.