“Smashable” brands like Walt Disney, Lego, and Louis Vuitton are consistent, with specific details that are true to the whole, said Martin Lindstrom, founder of branding firm Lindstrom Company.
The term “smashable” comes from Coca-Cola’s iconic bottle.
“Many years ago, Coca-Cola issued a briefing for the redevelopment of its bottle, so that if it smashes to pieces, you can pick out one piece and still recognize the brand,” said Mr. Lindstrom at a recent webinar. “It’s important to develop ‘smashables.’”
A product or service that is “smashable,” he added, can cut through an individual’s subconscious thought patterns when making a purchasing decision.
Some of the ways to smash a brand are through color, service, shape, language, traditions, and rituals.
Brands can also differentiate in this pandemic world by going back to the core of who they are to connect with customers.
In a Sept. 28 webinar organized by computer software company Adobe, Nike (another “smashable” brand) was cited for being able to find a point of difference and amplifying it. The athletic apparel manufacturer, Mr. Lindstrom said, is able to drive across the message “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
A restaurant in Sydney, Australia, called Catalina, meanwhile, was also cited as being successful at creating luxury dining experiences within the comforts of home. Each of the seafood boxes and celebration packs it delivers comes with a handwritten note from the restaurant owners, the McMahon family.
“The boxes… are not cheap but they’re always sold out,” said Maryel B. Price, Adobe’s manager for digital customer experience and commercial marketing in the Asia Pacific. Even pre-pandemic, she said, “the experience they created was excellent.”
Mr. Lindstrom advised getting inspired by observing how people behave.
“Over the past 15 years, I spent time in 3,000 consumer homes across 80 countries,” he said. “That’s my source of inspiration. If you’re an entrepreneur, that’s super important.” — Patricia B. Mirasol