This cartoon was partly inspired by my chat with David Taylor. He introduced me to the wonderful phrase, "brand ego tripping", which is when a brand team gets a little too full of itself and forgets why consumers liked the brand in the first place. A brand ego trip can be dangerous, because it can lead to ill-fitting brand extensions and promotions based on the needs of the business, not any kind of real consumer insight. Levi’s suits, Colgate ready meals, Coors Rocky Mountain mineral water — all casualties from "brand ego tripping".
I didn’t pick Metamucil for anything specific to the brand. Apologies to anyone on the brand team. I just thought a brand of laxative and fiber supplements would make a really ridiculous example.
I included the Bunco reference after remembering a cool promotion that P&G brand Prilosec pursued, where they found and developed a niche target of Bunco players. I thought their approach was a nice down-to-earth contrast to brand ego tripping.