Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Numbers versus Feelings

I have to admit, I am a sucker for rankings. For years, I led the alumni admissions efforts for my undergraduate alma mater. In that capacity, I followed every college/university ranking scheme published. I knew how the scores were calculated, where our school ranked, what its competition was and how to sell against that competition. 

More recently, I have been intrigued by municipality rankings. I think my interest began with the Places Rated Almanac and the Vacation Places Almanac. Since then, I have discovered that municipalities have been ranked in an amazing number of ways by a large number of organizations. Here are just some of the hundreds of ways in which municipalities are ranked:

  • Population
  • Best places to live
  • Livability
  • Cost of living
  • Best run 
  • Safest 
  • Most Bible-minded 
  • Cleanest
  • Equality index
  • Most dangerous
  • Most diverse
  • Highest quality of life
  • Greenest
  • Smartest
  • Richest
  • Best schools
  • Worst drinking water
  • Coolist
  • Most hip
  • Highest tax burden
  • Best for families
  • Best public transit
  • Most beautiful
  • Innovation
  • Best overall

Closer to the topic of this blog post, our BrandInsistence(SM) brand equity measurement system measures over 90 brand equity components. Each component receives a score and the scores are compared across customer segments and brands in the category.  My point is, I love numbers and the insights that they can provide. Having said that, sometimes it is useful to step back and ask, "How does our brand make people feel?" Forget the numbers, how does our brand make people feel?

Does your brand make people feel nostalgic? Does it make them feel important? Does it make them feel smart? Safe? Nurtured? Excited? Alive? Loved? Peaceful? Energized? Tough? Invincible? Playful? Naughty? Powerful? 

Or, does it make them feel used? Stupid? Angry? Inept? Impatient? Irritated? Small? Helpless? 

Think about it. How does your brand make people feel? At each point of customer contact? What does this mean for your brand? Is this what you want people to feel? Is this helpful in creating brand loyalty and brand advocates? Think about it.

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