Word of Mouth meet Technology – Brand Ambassador’s Badge of Honor!

At first look…this is a business card for someone who works for Kawasaki. But…look a little harder, look under the name. Yep, it is the name of a motorcycle….the Vulcan 2000. A Kawasaki Vulcan 2ooo. Hmm…what? I am confused a bit, well not really.

So let me set some context. I was over with my family visiting my grandfather, celebrating his 80th Birthday! Happy Birthday POP! As we were chatting, my Uncle Carroll handed me this card, yes the one in the picture above. I looked at it and thought, cool! Mind you, my Uncle Carroll has been working for Michelin North American here in Anderson for as long as I can remember. He is devoted to his job and the company that has provided the means to put food on the table and a roof over his family’s heads. Devoted. Well…to be honest, most of my family has been working for Michelin here in Anderson for a long time. My father-in-law just retired from Michelin after 32 years of service…WOW.

So I take this card and realize, my Uncle has just bought himself a new motorcycle. Now, a few years ago…my Uncle Carroll and Aunt Mary Joe (my Mom’s sister) decided to buy Harley’s after both kids were out of the house either married or attending college. A little empty nest present…a way to enjoy life after kids in the house. They have been devoted to their Harley’s…THEN one day, my Uncle Carroll showed up with a Kawasaki. Step back jack…that is like crossing over from Ford to Chevorlet. Those are “fighten words” in the land of NASCAR. I have seen people flip the bird to a driver going around a turn if they were driving the “other car.” Yes the middle finger for driving another car, another brand…WOW.

Well…my Uncle Carroll is proud owner of a new Vulcan 2000. I have no idea what a Vulcan 2000 looks…hell, I would have no idea the difference between this motorcycle and a Harley. I am just not in that world. But, my Uncle is proud…proud enough to go home one day and create a business card. One with his passion on this little piece of marketing. Yes, he found a simple template from Avery, downloaded the template for a business card, f0und a simple Kawasaki logo, used Microsoft Word, and created his little piece of marketing. Yes! An to top it all off, he is printing them and passing them out to his friends…not that Michelin business card that pays for that Vulcan 2000. Riding his bike is his passion and he has found a simple way to share it with his friends. Passion…Passion for his brand.

If you look at the card…you will see his name, his address, his phone numbers, even his email address. Most importantly…the logo of his favorite motorcycle brand and the name of HIS motorcycle under his name. ¬†How would you like to have someone become your brand ambassador…love your product/service so much that they create a business card with your logo and share with their friends. Word of Mouth meet Technology! Passion for “his” brand” of motorcycles and specifically his choice of bikes from all the other models…Passion meet Brand Ambassador.

Now I can here all you corporate communication experts thinking, that is not how I want “our” logo to be mis-represented. This does not fit into any style guide and protected branded campaign. This might even be the wrong logo, and old logo, or the right logo but not the right medium for this type of distribution. This is when the control freaks of a brand should step back and be honored. Your brand is so powerful…with so much devotion, it is their badge of honor.