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Great albums are like great brands.
Dark Side of the Moon
Back in Black
Appetite For Destruction
Great albums are full of songs that connect and compliment each other.
While each song is unique, they are part of a greater tapestry that leave the listener with a certain special feeling.
Great brands do the same.
They understand that every aspect of the brand contributes to that greater brand “aura”. The brand isn’t simply the logo, packaging, retail display, distribution system, social media, marketing, and promotions. A great brand takes everything into account in order to leave people with a certain special feeling about the brand.
Even the legal department needs to be aware of the brand’s essence and aura.
Consider Jack Daniels, the famous whisky from Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Jack Daniels himself founded the brand in 1866. He chose square bottles because he felt they conveyed a sense of fairness and integrity. Jack used the finest corn and highest standards to create his Old No.7 whiskey. The “Old No.7″ was a reference to his government registration. When the government changed the registration numbers for distillers, Jack continued to use Old No.7 on his bottles because his brand was well-established.
It was Old No.7 that won the gold medal for the world’s finest whisky at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. During World War II when access to quality ingredients was limited, the brand stopped production completely for five years.
Today Jack Daniels represents the same old school brand values. It is a premium product, famous for quality. It is the drink of Frank Sinatra and Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. It is the drink of down home good old southern boys. It is tradition. It is Gentleman Jack himself.
When author Patrick Wensink used a variation on the famous Jack Daniels label for the cover of his 2012 book Broken Piano for President, the legal team at Jack Daniels took notice.
Like most legal teams, they did what they needed to do in order to protect their property. They sent Patrick a cease and desist letter.
But they did it in a way to perfectly captured the essence of the Jack Daniels brand. They wrote a letter with integrity, honesty, fairness, old world values, and southern friendship.
It is quite possibly the kindest cease and desist letter you will ever read.
It explains the situation, suggests a rational solution, offers to cooperatively solve the problem, and expresses genuine gratitude for the author’s fondness of their brand.
As a result, the cease and desist letter has gone viral.
The Jack Daniels brand is being talked about. The brand’s values and attributes are being spread.
All thanks to a legal team that “gets it”.