Chip and Joanna Gaines have taken a simple remodeling show to a national trendsetting blockbuster. I even saw a man in Galena, Ill., with a Magnolia Farms t-shirt on — he was shopping in a shop carrying Joanna’s furniture.
Joanna’s line at Pier One
Their urban-farm look is changing how we all design our homes and how we talk about our homes’ interiors — did you know what ship-lap was before watching the show?
Is there anything we can all learn about branding from Chip and Joanna? Absolutely.
Here are my takeaways:
- Consistency—Your catch phrases must be used consistently to be effective. Chip and Joanna always say, “Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” before the big reveal.
- Innovate—You have to find products or processes that innovate and differentiate you from all the others. The Joanna look is now synonymous with hip country design. You can’t get that same feel if your brand is outdated like brass fixtures.
- Tell a story—Each episode is a story from start to finish. There are stories inside the main plot making the show interesting and surprising. What is your brand story and the little stories inside the larger story?
- Be Approachable—Too many times brands are unapproachable (that’s why you need logo cops and brand managers), but the it’s not the fonts that feel real, it’s the overall look and feel of the show and the design. It’s friendly and fun. The fun makes you want to get close and embrace their brand.
- Humanize the brand—Chip and Joanna are stars, but they also bring in so many other people into the story that it starts to feel like a family of stars. You can also see the humanizing effect of Joanna’s designs in the houses.
- Have fun with your brand—Chip and Joanna appear like real people by showing outtakes, bringing their kids into the storyline, and adopting a casual, comfortable lighthearted style. We all get very serious around our brands, and we forget the value of a smile or the fun you can have with a brand. Google changes their logo font every day and it doesn’t seem to hurt their brand.