Despite declining ratings during the 1990s and early 2000s due to the growing home video industry and other children's shows beginning to cram the cable space, Sesame Street, did the research, adapted, and persevered, and the show is the better for it (as are we).
Don't misunderstand me when I use words like "repetition and perserverance." Brands must be able to adapt and evolve in order to sustain relevance (another word that should be on this list). If a brand is lucky and smart enough to stay relevant for forty years, my guess is because it knows the world changes, and it better keep up. Sesame Street, for better or worse depending on which parent you talk to, gave the world Elmo because research revealed a younger audience watching the show. JACKPOT!
7. Fairness, Justice and Equality
Brands can't be everything to everybody right? Well, no, men don't need sanitary pads, Infants don't need denture cream. However, some Blacks, Whites, Gays, Asians, Jews and Catholics, women and men may need those things. Bert & Ernie are gay. Shocker. Eh, not really. Handled well by not being soap boxey or "Hey look how hip we are," Sesame Street stayed true to the very root of their mission -- to educate and foster understanding in our children. Hey brands out there -- we don't live in a bubble. Deal with it.
Sesame Street makes learning fun. Volkswagen is attempting to make social and global responsibility fun with The Fun Theory, which I have talked about previously. How can you make your brand, your product, your service fun?
9. Loyalty and Respect
I can't remember a time when Maria (Sonia Manzano) wasn't on the show, can you? "Be careful who you step on on the way up, you may need to lean on them on the way down," or "Leave with the one who brung ya." These are two other ways to say that the team that takes a risk on your nugget of an idea while you're working out of your garage -- they matter. The customers who have a complaint, suggestion or issue, whether young or old, new or returning -- they matter.
Be authentic. Be transparent. Brands can't hide behind the curtain anymore, and they shouldn't want to. If you screw up, apologize and make it right. Say thank you. Often. Love what you do. Passion can not be separated from the heart. Believe in what you do and what you have to offer, and people will ask how to get to your street, too.
This post has been brought to you today by the letter "S," and by the number 10.