The ’30 Rule’ Rules

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.44.53 PM30% support you and will, no matter what. 30% won’t and probably never will.

It’s the 30% in the middle that needs convincing. The other 10% never seem to matter.

In almost half a century of building branded businesses, I find this rule to be such a great tool. I don’t even know where it came from. Heck, perhaps I made it up.

There is no better example than in politics. And now we may even be seeing a whole new wrinkle in the ‘30 Rule’ with the new Trump White House. Barely two weeks into his Presidency and already it is clear that the word ‘support’ in this definition is inadequate.

Clearly, some 30% do strongly support what President Trump is trying to do. He is doing what he said he would do over the last 18 months. However, there is the other 30% who do not support him at all, indeed they seem to openly hate him at some level. The 30 in the middle clearly have a bit of both. Enough of the ‘middle’ voted for him to win but my guess is that many are just waiting to see what happens before they confirm more support or not.

Interestingly, I see similar phenomena in the upcoming Super Bowl. Typically fans will fall into the three buckets with varying degrees of fanaticism for or against their team, and yes there is passion, but again there seems to be an unusually high amount of angst among the 30% non-supporters especially for the favorite, New England Patriots. Seems you either like them or hate them a lot.

Apparently, the stronger and more dominant those are perceived to be, the more intensely the detractors dectract these days?

I saw the same in the UK last year with Brexit. Those for it were relatively quiet and were able to rally a greater percentage of the middle bucket than the opposition. The opposition though was much more angry and vitriolic … and remains vigilantly so.

So what does all this mean to brand ed businesses and rocketing them?

Two things.

Firstly, go ahead apply the ‘30 rule’ to your brand market. Yes, I know the specific percentages may change somewhat from brand to brand but think about the principle. You have a brand-building budget. What is the best way to apply it to encourage rocket growth?

A little bit for everyone – lovers, haters, middlers? Costly.
Go after non-supporters who are tending more towards haters today? Good luck with that.

Go after lovers? Hmm, don’t you already have them and especially now as the more the haters hate, the lovers support. Possible waste of money.

What then?

Well, how about identifying the potential lovers in the middle and pushing them further into your bucket? That is turning them from supporters to advocates? Thereby expanding the love bucket and hopefully, in doing so, increase brand purchases and frequency. And also importantly provide a bigger antidote to the negativity from the hater camp.

This leads to the second thought.

Beware your brand detractors.

In this new digital world, haters are more vocal and gather as ‘victims-in-arms.’ They can and will mount noisy and emotional campaigns to the middle folk. This can be nasty, personal and disrupting. Trump’s case again.

Of course the term ‘haters’ maybe a tad strong for those negative to your brand. They may just be ambivalent which could be a worse problem. The point remains the same, however. Unless you see the dire need to somehow offset the negative bucket, then we would suggest you aggressively focus on your brand lovers and particularly potential lovers in the middle.

Regarding Trump brand? Well, it is quite simple. His Presidency’s promises are his brand promises. He was elected on those promises and his expected ability to fulfill them. At this stage, if he succeeds in doing what he says he would do, especially with jobs and security, then all is good. If not then his non-supporters will become even more emboldened to hate just that much more.

I do have a final word for him though, and this gets to the heart of his America First position. He has certainly painted the picture of a need to ‘strengthen America again’ but in deference to the globalists, rather than stop there we suggest that he start making the point that a stronger America means a stronger world. Strength starts at home and spreads. If the US is weak then the world is weaker.

What say you?

We at Rocket Branding love this stuff.

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With over a billion users, ‘social media’ was certainly the media buzz in 2012.

2013 will be no different. Can it grow to 2 billion users?

Why not…new users of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc. are signing up and instantly sharing everyday. And even more interesting is the addiction to checking updates on mobile devices.

All those people you see hunched over their cell phones and tablets on the bus or train or coffee shop are more often than not checking into their social networks.

That’s all great but as everyone knows these sites are largely based on personal not commercial interactions. It’s tough to find a vibrant social community committed to discussing and sharing the latest toilet paper brand let alone accepting brand advertising on their smart phones.

So should you ‘rocket’ your brand on social media?   Absolutely!  As a brand marketer you cannot afford to disregard a behavior that in the next 2-3 years could involve 50-60% of your consumers or customers for as much as 20 -30 times a day. It is not just a question of trying to get attention here but it is also about being integrally involved in new habits and behaviors that in many cases will lead to all kinds of new products and experiences.

Trust me if you do not learn how to engage your brand in this new set of digital experiences your competitors will, and by doing so, leave you several chapters behind in the learning curve.

Ok smart guy, how?   Actually the answer is a lot simpler than you would think.  

1.    Forget the medium and think about the behavior. The only difference with social media is that it is personal and the sharing is about stuff that is interesting or relevant to a particular group.  So forget about trying to place an ad. Create interesting content. Provide relevant knowledge. A colleague used to create one-page novels and one-minute movies around a brand story. He was ahead of his time.

2.    Find the ‘what’s in it for me’

YouTube cracked the code on this by allowing you to share an outrageous video or laugh with your friends. The big daddy question is what is in it for your consumers and customers that they would want to share with their buddies and cohorts (and you).

You are not creating a brand message but a brand currency… something that your brand target would find interesting and relevant enough to get you invited into their world and shared with their connections.

‘Save the world’ causes sponsored by your brand and special deals are oft used example of getting branded traction among a certain community of consumers or customers.  We’d say go further and really dig into what about the brand category if anything has real ‘what’s in it for me’ potential and social significance to your brand target.

So for even the toilet paper brand, maybe your target is ‘soccer moms’ and they are becoming more afraid of public soccer field restrooms and want some advice and maybe even a discussion forum on making them safer. They may want an app that shows the cleanest/safest facilities or would even be open to sampling a new portable, discreet spray product that they advocate to others?   Whatever, again it’s about the behavior insight not about finding an advertising opportunity in the medium.

We at, Rocket Branding, have built an entire new discipline around gaining Social Traction for your brand in this brave new world.   Let us help you compete here. Visit or call 312 951 5178.  

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