Multi-Image Brands

Typically when experts talk about brand strategy they focus on the creation of a single image or personality for the brand–creating a clear, compelling message for the market. And that approach seems to make logical sense. But, not all big brands follow that logic and I’ve often found this to be intriguing. Take Budweiser, for instance. For many years Budweiser has been a stalwart presence among SuperBowl advertisers with a variety of ads that incorporate the iconic Clydesdales, in addition to the “Bud-Weis-Er” frogs and, of course, the “Whassup” guys, among others.
And, Budweiser isn’t the only big brand that uses multiple, seemingly disparate, images to hawk its wares. Geico is another. I really struggle to find the connection between the Geico gecko which is a great image, the cavemen and the stacks of money with the bulging eyes. Huh? I’m not the only person to wonder about Geico’s approach.
With these, and other brands that take a multi-image approach to their communications, I’ve often wished I could gain some insights from “those in the know” about why they use multiple approaches in a world that generally recommends a single, solid brand image.
In Budweiser’s case, it may be simply their own folly. In fact, according to brand research, Budweiser’s brand has been tanking over the past several years suggesting that their approach is not necessarily a well-reasoned one.
With Geico, on the other hand, the approach seems to be working. Geico, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, has achieved widespread awareness through its creative campaigns and the use of memorable characters like the gecko. While the approach seems disjointed, I wonder whether the different approaches are used to appeal to different segments of the market. Auto insurance is a product that spans a range of demographics which could, conceivably, call for different methodologies and messages to connect with various segments.
Who knows?

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