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the brand tribe.

In honor of the great men and women in the service past and present, we thought we’d dissect with you our favorite military branding, The Few, The Proud, The Marines. Notwithstanding the tremendous contributions other military services and their equal importance in defending and securing our freedom, we took a look at what makes the United States Marine Corps’ branding so effective and three overarching themes rang through: consistency in messaging, building a tribe mentality, and storytelling.

Consistency.

The Few. The Proud. The Marines. This message has been in advertising campaigns since the 1970’s and has kept consistent through the decades to present day. Meanwhile, their Army brethrens’ ever-changing message went from Be All You Can Be, to Army of ONE, to Army Strong. Likewise with the Navy’s Accelerate Your Life change to Global Force for Good. Even the Air Force changed their messaging from Aim High, to Cross Into the Blue, to Above All. We speculate these branches will continue to change their messaging until it resonates with their audience, but meanwhile, the Marines will continue to be The Few and The Proud.

Brand Tribe.

The Marine Corps present themselves as a small group of elite warriors. By being a part of the few and the proud you are becoming a member of a select class of service people. The exclusivity appeals to their target audience by being a source of inspiration and military tradition. Granted the requirements for entry to become an Army Ranger, Air Force Pilot, or Navy Submariner is equally exhaustive but none of these services have created the general market perception of a paragon as well as the Marines did.

The Story.

More than any other services, the Marine Corps’ consistent messaging resonates with their mythos. Their enduring legacy, tradition, uniforms, and how they conduct themselves in ceremonies and time-honored traditions are stories that build awe and admiration. The Marines brand have themes that echo throughout their ads and marketing such as ‘through the years’, ‘honor’, ‘courage’ ‘greater than themselves’, and ‘fidelity to each other’. This is their core passion and the story is emotional; whereas, most of the other services’ marketing message is to overtly recruit new service people.

What are some of your favorite military service marketing you’ve seen? Please post them in the comments section below.