What used to be "November," is now Movember. 30 days where men around the world proudly relive the glorious 1970s and 80s when the mo was in full flare, all in the name of raising funds and awareness of men's health, namely prostate cancer and depression.
Movember has a great brand story, instant recognition, broad grass-roots support and identity, is easy to engage with (just grow your mo), and has wide appeal.
Founder Adam Garone says it's the mustache's retro appeal that's been key in their mega viral campaign. Each participant becomes a "walking billboard" for the cause. "When you don't normally rock a moustache, people ask you about it and it opens up conversations," he says. "A large part [of our success] is through this incremental word of mouth."
Movember's brand power can also be gauged by the success they've had in getting "blokes" to talk about men's health (depression and their prostate what's more). They've broken through this wall and built awareness and talkability which while it can't be measured in financial terms is still very significant. Movember has hit a traditional return on investment (ROI) (millions of dollars raised, 200,000 participants, global presence etc) while accruing the other returns of relevance, originality and impact.
Movember passes the four key brand tests:
Through their sheer financial fundraising, and their inescapable presence (blokes with mo's, team based events, high profile celebrity endorsement, and PR) they've established some serious credibility.
They've made it relevant to their target audience in a way that involves and provides "permission" to get involved. This relevancy is driven out by their insight: they've got a concept that's fun and involving, demonstrating that people aren't taking themselves too seriously while letting them expose an issue men traditionally don't talk about.
Movember is unique and differentiating as a concept. It has cut through a highly cluttered environment of charity and fundraising, where dollars are scarcer than ever. Assuming Movember builds on these factors in future years it has the hallmarks of being a strong and sustainable brand for a long while yet.