Build Your Brand Like Ellen

Build Your Brand Like Ellen

First, this isn’t about Ellen as a person, her lifestyle or what you believe and think about her. Put aside any differences that might keep you from seeing something really amazing she has captured.

When I first started Circle Fifty, it started upstairs in our house. My wife would come home in the afternoons from work and put on The Ellen Show. I would hear the show from upstairs, but even more noticeable was the laughing I would hear from my wife each episode. One day I decided to see why my wife liked this show so much. I found myself catching bits and pieces of many episodes after that, and I noticed three consistent things about the show. It’s the following three things that make Ellen’s brand so brilliant and I believe should live inside of all Brilliant Brands™.

1.Fun. The show starts out with her always cranking up the music and doing her signature dance. The audience is on their feet and everyone is smiling and dancing. Fun is such a great way to capture your audience. It doesn’t mean YouTube stupid viral video funny. It’s just the ability to be human and not take yourself and others too seriously. Fun sets the tone for people to connect with you. If you want someone to remember your brand, make them smile. It creates warmth in your brand.

John Berger says in his book, Contagious; “Activating emotion is the key to transmission. We need to get people excited or make them laugh.”

 2. Personal. Whenever Ellen has a guest on her show, she does something extremely memorable for the guest. She gives her celebrity guests a gift that’s personal for them. It’s not expensive, it’s just personal. For example, Usher was on and he was in the middle of filming an upcoming movie where he played a boxer. He also has a son, so Ellen gave him some fun boxing themed gifts for his kid. She finds touchpoints that are relevant to each guest’s season of life and gifts around that. She makes it personal. Brilliant Brands™ take the time to go beyond just giving for the sake of giving. Brilliant Brands™ give personal gifts that take thought and are memorable. You don’t need a big budget to make it personal.

3. Generosity. I’m convinced you can’t afford to be stingy as a brand. Brilliant Brands™ go against cultural expectations in many ways. Although generosity should be expected by everyone, it’s not living in many brands. We get consumed with meeting our needs, and we forget it should be bigger than us.

Probably my favorite thing about The Ellen Show is that she gives, gives and gives some more. When they play games on the show, the entire audience wins. She is always meeting the needs of people. I hope your brand is built on more than the dream of chasing a dollar. I hope it’s attached to meeting a need and helping people win. Take about 6 minutes and watch an example of Ellen making it personal and being extremely generous. 

Make your brand brilliant by making it fun, personal and by being generous.

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