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Is Your Company a Cute Monkey or an Unhappy Monster? This Site Has the Answer

What would your company look like if it was a child's toy? If you've ever asked yourself this question, ad agency JWT has the answer. Its Brand Toys web site allows you to plug in the characteristics of your company or brand, from which it builds a cute little monkey or an ugly monster, or something, with your logo on its chest.

You can then compare your toy with a rival's toy and this, er, will help guide your corporate strategy. (Or drive new business to JWT, which is really the point.)

The available variables include things like your trade dress colors, "familiarity," "trustworthiness," "functionality," and "charisma."
(It's basically Simpsonize Me but for companies; and with toys instead of Homer et al.)

The first two brands I checked out were Coca-Cola (KO) and Pepsi (PEP), and one value of the site became instantly obvious: The brands-as-toys are so similar that aside from their logos they might as well be the same thing. (Click to enlarge images.) For a brand manager who wants their brand to be highly differentiated from the competition, this tool might actually be useful.

The next pair I entered were Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT). Notice that neither brand ranks as a human toy, they way the colas do. Microsoft is an unhappy gorilla...

... whereas Apple is a many-tentacled monster with too-cool-for-school shades:

It all makes perfect sense now!

One shortcoming of Brand Toys is that all the best-known companies tend to produce similar, smiling toys with sunny-weather backgrounds. Not so oil company BP and airline Ryanair. The former is synonymous with pollution and incompetence; and the latter with contempt for its customers. Their toys reflect that nicely: BP is a little thug carrying a crowbar ...

... and Ryanair is a disgruntled hippo, also with a crowbar:

Toyota (TM), despite its safety recall troubles, still seems rather appealing:

Trendy brands like Atari ...

... and Bombay Sapphire seem to have their product characteristics reflected rather well by their toys:

Bud Light, America's most popular beer, is a friendly but dumb-looking hippo, probably because while it ranks high on most variables it comes out low on "potential" and "charisma," and one of its fixed variables is "straightforward":

You can draw your own conclusions about why Buick is a pathetic, bald monster with a green tie:

Facebook and Google (GOOG) suffer from the Coke/Pepsi problem: Many of their attributes are regarded similarly by consumers. It is not necessarily a good thing that Facebook's toy is wearing a crown ...

... or that Google's man is carrying a roll of duct tape compass*:

And now for the "turn-and-turn-about" portion of our show: I inputted the various dynamics for BNET, just out of curiosity. I tried to be objective -- BNET is a new company so we have probably low familiarity and admiration, but high potential and chatter. Obviously, as I work here, we're sexy too. (But then you knew that.) Here's our toy:


*See comments.

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