Marketing Secrets of Denny Crain

Shatner_as_Denny_Crane.jpgI’m Denny Crane…Denny Crane… Denny Crane here…

I was recently touring units with a new franchisor, and noticed that some crew members had on company t-shirts, and some did not. The franchisor told me that some of the young crew members resisted wearing the branded shirts and he hadn’t wanted to force the issue

I invited the franchisor to learn the marketing secrets of Denny Crane, William Shatner’s Emmy-winning character on Boston Legal (Tuesdays 10 pm EST on CBS.)

Denny Crane, the egotistical founding partner of fictional law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt, is a master promoter of the “Denny Crane” brand. He chants his own name like a mantra every chance he gets. He uses “Denny Crane” to punctuate his frequent dramatic statements, to intimidate his adversaries, or just to fill dead air.

Denny claims to be the greatest lawyer in history, with a courtroom record of 6,134 Wins and 0 Losses, but it’s not clear if that’s true (even in the context of the show) because Denny creates his own reality. His bravado often leads opponents to settle and his female conquests to swoon.

What can brand marketers learn from Denny Crain? First, he knows exactly who he is and what he stands for. Second, he relentlessly and consistently promotes his brand in all he does. Third, he understands that marketing is a lively game to be enjoyed. In the words of Denny Crane says: “It’s fun being me!”

If you’re going to build a successful franchise company, or even a successful franchise unit, you need to have a 100% commitment to building your brand. You need to know who you are, and you need to spread the word with confidence and a relentless spirit.

Denny Crane wouldn’t just make his crew wear their company shirts, he’d convince them that they should never take them off. Everyone in your organization—from corporate staff to franchise owners to employees— should chant your name with Denny Crane-like zeal.

Pretty soon your customers will be chanting your name as well.

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