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Brands we still love in 2021

By June 29, 2021No Comments

Everyone has certain brands they like or are obsessed with. It might be a tagline, the quality, the images, aesthetics, humor, or something else notable. Whatever the reason for the love, the idea came from a smart marketer.

Here are some of Clarity Quest leadership’s favorite brands:

Chris’ Favorite Brand: Nordstrom

I love it because they are the best combination of showcasing style with ease of ordering. It’s like they combined a runway show with Amazon.

How marketing played a role: they leverage instagram to showcase fabulous styling posts.

Lindsay’s Favorite Brand: Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Nationwide, Allstate

I love it because insurance is a topic we don’t actively seek out because it represents events in life that could be very sudden, serious, and even life-threatening. And historically the marketing and advertising followed suit delivering those types of messages: serious, sobering, arguably fear-based recipes: Happy family, sudden tornado, lost home, devastated family. We all need to thank the Gecko because, insurance marketers over the past two decades have figured out the right mix of humor, education, and relatability in their messaging to get consumers to pay attention.

After doing a quick Google search, I learned insurance companies have been infusing humor since circa 1999 with Geico’s Gecko. Now we have Flo and Dr. Rick from Progressive, Jake, from State Farm, Farmers Hall of

Claims with J.K. Simmons,Nationwide’s Peytonville with Peyton Manning and Brad Paisley, and of course, Allstate’s Mayhem with Dean Winter.

Which ones are your favorite? I still laugh when Mayhems ‘tailgating to get to a tailgate’ and Dr. Rick’s ‘Methods’ air.

How marketing played a role:

Marketing and advertisers have flipped the paradigm. Funny. Understandable. Human. Relatable. It doesn’t make reviewing my policies any more interesting … but I do appreciate the humor and how it got me to take a more active role and audit my coverage annually.

Marla’s Favorite Brand: Ford

I love it because as the automotive world continues its shift into electric vehicles, I appreciate Ford’s commitment to electrify its entire fleet – not just 2 or 3 vehicles. By 2022, Ford will have multiple mainstream vehicles in or ready for market. While the energy switchover is not without challenges the brand has enjoyed recent market share increases from other OEMs as a result of their glowing EV debut.

How marketing played a role: The brand is iconic, long-lasting, and speaks of history to me. The classic blue oval has withstood over 100 years of business and virtually remained unchanged during that time. Even during troubled times, the mark was valuable enough to leverage as Ford rebuilt and survived the turbulent industry during the mid-2000s.

Casey’s Favorite Brand: Peloton

I know one of my favorite brands of 2021 is a bit controversial, to say the least, but hear me out on why I still love Peloton. Did they completely botch the controversial recall of their treadmills? That would be a big “yes”. But the momentum Peloton had leading up to that snafu and lessons they will learn from it still keep me as a very loyal customer.

As an avid runner and exerciser, the pandemic really put a wrench in my workout plan. My wife and I stopped the two gym memberships we had and decided to give the Peloton Bike+ and Tread+ a try. We converted a spare bedroom in our basement into our workout room and welcomed the countless classes and amazing instructors into our lives – virtually. Having the gym in our basement eliminated a lot of excuses we used to have for not working out (no time, it’s cold/raining…) so we have Peloton to thank for our health. The breadth of classes offered and the positivity that exudes from their instructors make exercising…. FUN (if you can believe it)!

How marketing played a role: The blend of hardware and software along with the constant supply of new content makes Peloton a brand and service I can’t stop talking to people about. Despite the mishandling of their Tread+ recall, they’ve stepped up with some great safety features and they continue to give people a great way to take hold of their own healthy future during a time when gyms were closing down all over the place.

Peloton is the brand that truly transformed the home gym experience and I believe they will continue to be the brand that most think about when it comes to having exercise equipment that people will actually use.

In the end, Peloton admitted they messed up how they handled the recall request and sincerely apologized, promising to make safety a major priority in future software/hardware updates. How amazing is it when someone admits to messing up and says sorry? Big brands rarely do it, but I think it humbled and humanized Peloton.

Brian’s Favorite Brand: Marriott

I love it because as someone who appreciates consistency, my loyalty is a very small price to pay in return for the perks. From the luxurious benefits (an ocean-front suite upgrade with chilled champagne on my Hawaiian honeymoon) to the more basic (restaurant comps and free nights) — all of the ways Marriott makes its members feel special enhance the travel experience.

How marketing played a role: Their new rewards program branding (Marriott Bonvoy) offers a fresher, more exciting vision that can make a bigger splash in a very crowded travel rewards and booking market. Beyond marketing, it comes down to customer service for Marriott. Keeping each individual member happy is what leaves a lasting impression and builds momentum.

Melanie’s Favorite Brand: Bombas

I love it because they have well-made, adorable designs and they give back (for every purchase, they donate to local homeless shelters/organizations).

This is probably the first product I consciously looked up and purchased as a direct result of its marketing. They sponsor numerous podcasts that I listen to and the

20% off your first purchase offer hooked me. They have a happiness guarantee and their emails are a sheer delight that “gets me.” The one I still remember is about dogs who’ve destroyed Bombas. As part of their guarantee, if something happens to one of your socks, you can call them to replace them. Yes, even if your dog destroys them.

Their brand is attractive to those of us who want socks with a bit of spunk, dare I say flare, but are also of the highest quality… and bonus, speak to our values. Bombas aren’t for everyone, but they’re immensely appealing to those for whom they are made.

Spencer’s Favorite Brand: Tesla/Space X, Wendy’s, Slim Jim

I love them because they take a realistic and comedic approach to running their businesses. Life is hard, it’s complicated, it’s challenging and sometimes it’s downright depressing, so why not make it easier and more enjoyable where we can? These brands decided to pass by the old-age style guides of how a business is supposed to be run… (according to who, I don’t know) They got rid of the upright, suit & tie, everything must be perfect and in line, style of corporation and instead made themselves an enjoyable, light hearted, funny, and easy going company. I mean look at Wendy’s, they had one of the top trending twitter accounts for years, because they used humor and satire to create an audience base. Slim Jim is very similar, they have over 1.3 million followers on Instagram… SLIM JIM!? Why? Because they have created a family, if you will, of content supporters. That’s right, not even brand supports, but content supporters. People follow and interact because of what they’re posting, not because they are obsessed with Slim Jims (but they are really good let’s be honest). Elon Musk; he doesn’t pretend, he simply is who he is, and he doesn’t hold back. He’s honest and upfront using today’s trends and culture, not because he wants to create a following, but because he enjoys them and finds value in them.

How marketing played a role: Social media marketing is a massive industry. Not only is it massive, but it is complicated. What might get you thousands of likes and comments today, could get you blocked and reported tomorrow. What’s appropriate for one person to post, might not be appropriate for a brand to post. The brands that I listed above have used social media masterfully to their advantage. Whether they used it to create a loyal audience, or used it purely as their own personal comedy zone, they were able to gain insane followings, engagements, and brand recognition, all while staying positive and relaxed.

And of course, we’re still totally obsessed with the brands we help shine.

Rayna Southart

Author Rayna Southart

Rayna is a skilled and creative Content Marketing Manager at Clarity Quest. When she's not crafting killer content, you can find her devouring podcasts and good books. To learn more about Rayna's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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