Primal Branding is about building a loyal following of believers in your cause, your product, your movement, your brand.
And to have believers, you have to have unbelievers.
At least, that’s what Patrick Hanlon asserts.
If your a coffee-head and Roos Roast fan, the unbelievers are those poor, misguided Folgers drinkers.
When I was in high school in Crando, there was a constant back and forth between the Ford people and the Chevy people.
One of my dad’s pet theories is that we will only have peace on earth after there is contact aliens.
For there to be a “we,” there needs to be a “they.”
Even Barak Obama, with his calls for unity and a new type of politics, creates a “they” by criticizing the old way of politics (and by extension those who practice it).
Many brands, movements, and religions have used us/them differences to create a strong following, and I think that’s okay.
There is a danger, however, in going on to create us/them divisions. I believe that King’s method of saying we disagree with the segregationists and resist them, but we do not hate them, is a much better method than Malcolm X’s lesson that the enemy is the white man.
(For more of my thoughts on primal branding, visit the table of contexts post)