Unilever just made the news by agreeing to remove the word “normal” from its marketing materials in the health and beauty categories. It, rightly, is offensive to people who feel they may not be normal. And who may feel excluded. Bravo. Everyone is normal if alive. All part of the gene pool.
That said, normal is a not a word I would every use in brand strategy, unless I’m trying to position against it. (Said the fairly normal white guy.) In brand strategies for clients, I want everyone to feel special. To feel their own flavor of special. To feel special when using client products or services. Yet, to feel special one needs to first feel. And therein lies the secret sauce of great brand planning. Don’t treat consumers as cardboard users. Or data points. Or metrics on a dashboard. That’s for accounting. Brand planners look into the souls of consumers. We cherry pick feelings we believe to be shared within the confines of our product category. And that’s hard. Not everybody shares the same feelings because life is not equitable. But we try.
It is the lifeblood of the brand planner. Feels. And Shares.