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The magic of 3 in your brand

I’m always modeling the essence of what makes things work. I discovered back in 2005 that there was something about successful company brands that really made them successful and I’ve been teaching this secret to my entrepreneur clients. Now it seems some smart-folks in Manhattan ad firms have caught up with me.

You see, to make your company or organization connect with people, you must define your top three values (and live by them). “Values” are the key words that reflect what is MOST important to everyone in your organization and important to your clients or network. Three is an incredibly important number to the subconscious mind, it’s like a tripod, strong and anchored. This is why often see three used in spiritual or religious text. Examples like “the three wise men” or the three challenges both Buddha and Christ faced are common. Even in the government, you’ll see many Three-Letter-Acronyms (TLAs like FBI, CIA, etc).

Check out the new The Social Network movie. They’ve got a hot, high-priced marketing team that’s helping to make it the #1 movie. I caught the billboard (below) for the movie at Westwood mall last week. See the power of three? It sticks in the mind! They are three values of super-high emotional value. Combined, they uniquely define what you are going to get (the promise) in the movie.

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Billboard for “The Social Network”

And looking to the left, in the same huge open space, notice three distinct panels for the values of the shopping center. Three emotional experiences for the core demographic of young women who consider themselves stylish, so of course, it says, “You are in the right place. You belong here.” In this example, advertisers use three actions (verbs) for values that trigger emotion, which engages values of shopping, dining, and playing to the target customer.

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Three values proudly shown at Westwood Mall

Now, what’s your top three brand values? “Values are the one word (maybe two) that answer the question, “What’s most important in your business?

Don’t have a company, then YOU are your own brand. What are YOUR top three values? Even as an employee, if you don’t know what you stand for, no one else will.

See if you can find the top three values of your favorite brand. They’re all around you. I’m compiling a list and would love to see you post your findings in the comments.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Leah Otte October 10, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Just the other day I was driving and I noticed that on one of the campaign signs for the current Mayor re-elect, he used the “3 words” and in that moment I was like, Ellen does that, Erol does that and I also thought of “EAT PRAY LOVE”. Then I started pondering where else I had seen that? Of course, there was the body, mind, soul and and the Holy Trinity! In Latin 3 symbolizes happiest, the list goes on…That day it was so warm and sunny and beautiful outside and I contemplated, how do I feel in this moment?…
    ENERGIZED-HAPPY-WARM

  • Erol Fox October 10, 2010, 8:06 pm

    Ah ha! So you have spotted it! Indeed, Ellen Degeneres uses 3 values in her ad campaign.

    The SECRET is that the mind can consider three totally different ideas at the same time. Think of an apple, tire, and a tree. Easy, right? Now add a ladder. Oops! Now the mind has to start chunking them together.

    Three is a magic number that works perfectly in the mind to group unrelated items. This can explain why in North American phone numbers, the area code and prefix (3 numbers) tend to be easier to remember, but the 4 digits at the end often need to be written out to be remembered.

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