Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


A colleague and I were out walking about lovely Downtown Charleston at mid-day recently, when suddenly we saw someone wearing a sports jersey with the number "31" on it. I turned to my colleague and asked, "When you see the number 31, what do you think of?"

Her quick reply was "Baskin Robbins."

Naturally, I was thinking the same.

This quick, random, unprompted episode was a great reminder of the power of good, consistent brand-centered marketing. In the world of consumer mindspace, Baskin Robbins owns the position related to the numeral, 31.

Thirty-one. Baskin Robbins. Period. End of story.

It has been a long, long time since Baskin Robbins offered only 31 flavors. Today, the retailer offers a far greater variety of flavors--and products. But thanks to the fact that Baskin Robbins advertised its offering of thirty-one flavors (which was way, way more than anyone else ever had) for decades in the 60s, 70s and 1980s, our brains are ingrained with the mental linkage between B-R and 31. Though the "31 flavors" phrase is no longer an exactly accurate descriptor of the brand, conversely the phrase does nothing to reduce brand equity for B-R, either.

That colleague and I, by the way, are separated in age by almost 20 years. Boomers, Gen-X and Millenials ... it matters not to which cohort we belong ... alike know that Baskin Robbins offers thirty-one flavors of creamy goodness.

Now, go get yourself a cone! Marketing geniuses like you deserve a tasty reward now and then.


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