Fed Up With Ubiquity? Start a Counter-Brand

Posted on by Dana VanDen Heuvel

091215 South Butt 300x225 Fed up with ubiquity? Start a counter brandPersonally, I like name-brand gear as much as the next guy. Brand become ubiquitous for a reason. Sometimes a brand gets uber-popular because of merit, the quality of the offering and the overwhelming public support. Other times a brand gets popular due to factors that bewilder us. Status symbol items usually follow this track. Cars, coats, handbags and things of that nature.

It’s that disdain for the omnipresence of some brands that makes this story on Jimmy Winkelmann’s “The South Butt” brand such an awesome story!

Fed up at the constant presence of nonathletic college students sporting the latest North Face goods that should be better served outfitting a Sherpa than a student, Jimmy created his counter-brand called “The South Butt”. As Jimmy puts it,

The South Butt idea is simple: stay comfortable, relaxed, and always be yourself. Never Stop Relaxing

I can get behind that! The North Face, on the other hand, is not happy. They’re taking Jimmy to court…so we’ll see who wins. Actually, Jimmy was offered $1M from TNF, but he turned it down as his clothing line is turning out to be insanely profitable!

All this “south butt” stuff got me thinking.

What are the dominant brands that are annoyingly ubiquitous in other industries that one could successfully counter? More to the point – what ‘counter-branding’ measures could you use in your firm?

I can think of one that I saw recently that’s a parody brand of “Life is Good” that’s called “Life is Crap“. The shirts are funny enough and they graphics depict life’s less desireable moments with a wonderful humor. While I’m generally a positivist and have my own stock of “Life is Good” stuff kicking around, the Life is Crap message is irresistible at times.

What’s your favorite example of a parody brand or counter-brand? What can you do with this idea in your own industry? This could be fun!

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