We love creating mind-blowing marketing videos. We like to be funny, original, entertaining, educational. When we’re doing corporate culture videos, we like to be sincere and genuine. These are all fine adjectives, and worth embracing. But the one traditionally positive adjective we avoid is being “surprising.”
That might sound weird at first. A lot of brands love to “surprise and delight,” or tell their audiences to “expect the unexpected.” That works fine as rhetoric, but if a customer relies on your customer service, your safety rating, or your standard of excellence, unplanned “surprises” can be unpleasant indeed.
There’s a such thing as pleasant surprises, but if you’ve communicated your brand correctly, they shouldn’t really be surprises at all. People should see the mints on the pillow, the complementary champagne, the big-smile-and-handshake service and say, “of course, this is a classy place.”
That goes for branding, as well as product and service. No matter how great your video or website is, it should still clearly be yours. It should fit with your brand and give people a sense of the familiar. The last thing you want is people seeing your sincere and genuine video and saying “who are they trying to fool?” Or seeing your funny clown video and saying “that isn’t the bank I remember signing up with.”
So make your branding congruent. Make people comfortable with your consistent awesomeness. And if you’re short on awesomeness, focus on creating more awesomeness before you focus on marketing.