Monday, July 27, 2009

Ten of the Best Villian Brands

10. The Dharma Initiative

Source: Lost (tv show)
Why it beats the enemy's: They actually have taken the time to create a brand.
Part of the Uniform: Check. Dr. Candle gets a little fishy if you're not rocking your uni.
Brand Confusion: Sewer grate.

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Pay attention to Others in your market.

9. Mumm-Ra

Source: The Thundercats (cartoon)
Why it beats the enemy's: Doubtful.
Part of the Uniform: Oh yeah. Right there are the chest.
Brand Confusion: Skeletor – he's gota chesty seal thing too.

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Keep your brand close to your heart.
[Unrelated: Best discovery for the advancement of humans! While researching this piece I found this "thunderpedia" that is, you guessed it, a wiki for all things Thundercats.

8. Stay Puff Marshmellow Man

Source: The Ghostbusters (movie)
Why it beats the enemy's: This might be a tie. It's a good start when you're ready for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but the Ghostbusters may do a better job on daily tactical execution of branding.
Part of the Uniform: Sorta.
Brand Confusion: Philsbury Doughboy

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: The puffier the marsh the sweeter the mellow? I really have nothing here.

7. The Umbrella Corporation

Source: Resident Evil Series (video game)
Why it beats the enemy's: I don't think so. It's an umbrella.
Part of the Uniform: Negative. Non-zombies (they're not
zombies!) don't "sport" brands. The dude to the right scared me everytime I fired up the game.
Brand Confusion: L3 Communications

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Keep your brand focused. Expanding your brand into pharma, military, science, etc makes for a really disjointed brand perception.

6. The Rogues - the warriors (

Source: The Warriors (movie)
Why it beats the enemy's: Menacing Bulls vs. Skulls? Tie goes to Skulls.
Part of the Uniform: Check. It's a gang, they tend to take logos kinda seriously.
Brand Confusion: The Misfits

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Immerse yourself in your brand because "I just like doing stuff like that!"

5. Cobra Kai

Source: The Karate Kid (movie)
Why it beats the enemy's: It's hardcore, and wasn't generated minutes before the Tri-Valley Tournament. Clearly, Daniel looks scared.
Part of the Uniform: Check, sensei.
Brand Confusion: Shelby Cobra GT500

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: "STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD." Be an innovator... I think your head accidentally ran into my innovation.

4. The Decepticons

Source: Transformers (cartoon)
Why it beats the enemy's: Dead heat.
Part of the Uniform: Check!
Brand Confusion: Mostly from their direct competitors, the Autobots, which is pretty unfortunate from a branding perspective.

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Offer more than meets the eye.

3. The Riddler

Source: Detective Comics #140 (comic)
Why it beats the enemy's: It's not. A bit over-saturated on the brand. Just because a logo is good, doesnt' mean you should use hundreds of times over on the same piece of collateral.
Part of the Uniform: Check!
Brand Confusion: Matthew Lesko, author "Free Money". Nearly identical uniform, and both rip off the government.


2. The Joker

Source: Batman #1 (comic)
Why it beats the enemy's: It doesn't. When the Joker gets
a jokermobile, jokerlight, jokerrangs or joker-sharkspray we'll talk.
Part of the Uniform: Uneasy check
Brand Confusion: Queen of Hearts

BRANDING LESSON LEARNED: Always leave a card.

1. Cobra

Source: G.I. Joe (cartoon, and god do I wish it'd stay that way)
Why it beats the enemy's: No logotype required.
Part of the Uniform: Check
Brand Confusion: Caduceus


Cobra is the clear brand winner. Their brand is fairly literal to the point, you see a (great) cobra illustration and they're "Cobra". They're also very organized around the brand: corresponding logo adhered to every employee's outfit; their CEO – Cobra Commander – lives the brand, going so far as to wearing a cowl with their brand identity emblazoned and yells the brand name when attacking
the "market".

So that's how I'm calling the best villain brands. Got better additions? Disagree with having Stay Puff (no logo, but a physical representation of a brand) but not Darth Vader? Holler in the comments!