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Aug 14, 2019    Burn Book

The Rebel Brand: Perfection Takes Precision


Rebellious kid.

What came to mind? Patrick from “10 Things I Hate About You”? John Bender from “The Breakfast Club”? Ferris Bueller? Literally any goth girl from any movie? Maybe your own child or sister?

More often than not, rebellious kids in movies are seen in one of two ways: If it’s a story for parents, they portray the kid as troublesome, in need of friends who are better influences, or ‘going down the wrong path.’ The more fun portrayal, in our humble opinion as a top branding agency in Austin, is in those stories meant for kids, where the rebellious friend is the one who brings the fun, breaks the mold, and helps the people around them come out of their shell.

It’s no wonder brands across the years have taken to this rebellious storyline when wanting to appeal to different crowds. A hint of nostalgia and in-your-face cool kid vibes and boom– you’ve hooked a target audience. Or so sub-par growth hacking consultancies / ad agencies think.

Boom or Bust

But there’s a precision that needs to be carefully executed if you think this is the path for your brand. We’re not saying not to do it because it’s popular and you need to be different–we all know several brands can pull this off successfully in slightly different ways (Google any recent ad campaigns by Stella Artois, North Face, Taco Bell).

But here’s what modern copywriters, other Austin advertising and marketing agencies will do wrong: you don’t want to be the misguided kid that’s going nowhere in life. Or, you don’t want to accidentally take on a persona of uncaring habits, non-transparency, and the ‘too cool for school’ motto considering top influencers these days say it’s actually cool to stay in school and do cool sh*t in your life.

It’s Easy to Be Bold With No Purpose

You don’t want your brand to accidentally be seen as randomly loud, bold with no purpose, crying for attention, or simply unprofessional (unreliable). Especially in an era where people can see right through your fake-woke-ness (Remember Pepsi’s ad with Kendall Jenner in 2017 that completely backfired?)

If your brand is going to succeed with this careful storyline of bold rebelliousness, you need to do it right, and that’s by encouraging deviation from the norm in ways that would help your target audience grow (or get happier… It all depends on your product or service).

While we wish we could give you the magic formula or a template, it’s much more nuanced than that (and we hate templates). And that’s kind of the point. (Although we can give you some case study examples.) That’s why it’s so easy to go wrong, especially if you go it alone or do it with the wrong digital marketing agency/consults.

Rebellious kids in history and in movies (which are usually a pretty good reflection of real culture) always end up (1) making it big because they didn’t listen to who they were told to, the cool kid who rebelled against authority/norm, OR (2) meeting everyone’s expectations about falling behind, down and out, and irrelevant.

Don’t start your brand down a path when you don’t know how to make it to #1.

Instead, talk to some professional rebels. We’ll make sure you don’t become a generic wannabe — we’ll make sure you become a Ferris Bueller… or better.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control