Branded on the Fourth of July
As June comes to a close, consumers begin to see the flood of red, white and blue wash over their favorite brands, as each looks to find a way to incorporate the Fourth of July into their branding, marketing and advertising efforts.
As with many holidays, brands can easily get lost in the increased noise of similar branding strategies – there are always the go-to ways to incorporate Halloween into branding, for instance – but the Fourth of July offers brands varying angles to which they can position their brand.
Branding on this holiday, and any holiday, must consist of careful and well-thought strategies that succeed in maximizing the inherent positive associations of the holiday but yet still stay true to the overall brand positioning. Going too far off that plan is a recipe for disaster, opening a brand up to seem as if they are willing to abandon their core brand principles in the name of an easy marketing campaign possibility.
For instance, Brit + Co., an online media and e-commerce platform who has built their brand around providing women and girls with tools designed to teach, inspire and enable their creativity, created an email marketing campaign centered around the celebratory aspect of the holiday, highlighting some of their most patriotic and colorful merchandise. The design of the email matches the design of their website, promoting brand unity across all of the platforms.
Brit + Co. shows that they get how to fit the characteristics the holiday with the characteristics of their brand. Their brand personality is fun, quirky, creative and colorful – all of which can be used to describe their Fourth of July branding and marketing. By focusing on the beach/party atmosphere, they touch on their creative sides, showing people how to creatively throw their own Fourth of July soiree.
The professional sports industry is one that has never been shy about strategically branding itself for these patriotic holidays. For the past few years, professional baseball leagues have welcomed the holiday with patriotic-themed, one-time-only uniforms and hats. From the lowest levels of the minor leagues all the way up to the clubs that make up Major League Baseball, teams across the country wear these uniforms and hats, which are supplemented by various red, white and blue accessories, from batting gloves and undershirts to bases and themed designs cut into the field.
In a vacuum, these special uniforms and hats can seem to fall within the realm of celebrating the holiday while without going too far outside their comfort zone – as do most uniform modifications. However, much criticism for these leagues when they trot out “special” uniforms is that they immediately put these items up for sale, seemingly proving that the reason for the re-branded product isn’t to celebrate or commemorate, but to make some extra money on merchandise sales.
The Fourth of July is a holiday commemorated by all Americans and has turned into a day to celebrate all things red, white and blue. Any time you can find a way to connect a brand to such a large audience, and to have a little fun in the process, go for it. It’s what the Founding Fathers would want.
Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands.