This blog provides practical information on brand research, strategy and positioning. It also covers brand equity measurement, brand architecture, brand extension and other brand management and marketing topics.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Brands & Storytelling
Stories are the glue that holds societies together. Consider the stories of Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims, the Boston Tea Party, the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. These are the basis of our American Heritage. They provide us with a sense of history and values and common purpose.
Consider the Biblical stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, Jonah and the whale, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, and more central to the Christian message, the birth of Christ, Jesus feeding the 5,000, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. These stories unite more than 2 billion Christians across the world today.
Consider your own family's stories. Your wedding night. Your honeymoon. Your first child. Your best vacation. Your child's first major accomplishment or recognition. A favorite place to which you returned year after year. A very funny moment. A shared tragedy. A special holiday. These memories are the glue that holds your family together.
I have been involved in Boy Scouts for more than 50 years. The memories that keep me coming back are the summers spent at Massawepie Scout Camps in the Adirondack Mountains, the 70-mile trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green, Virginia, and the World Jamboree at Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia. I can and do share these memories with other Scouters across the US.
Republicans enjoy recounting tales about famous Republican presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. While Democrats like to reminisce about the personalities, values and accomplishments of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barak Obama.
Whether you are a corporation, a not-for-profit organization, an industry conference, a brand of single malt scotch, a sports team, a rock band, a seaside town, a resort community or something else, you have your stories and your shared history.
Every society throughout history has had its stories. Every culture has had its myths and its folktales. Every religion has its parables and its stories about its founder and its history.
Stories provide context and meaning. They reinforce shared values. They tell cautionary tales. They imply standards of behavior. They provide a sense of heritage. And, most importantly, they create a sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself. They are what bind tribes together.
What are your brand's stories? Do they talk about the brand's origins? Do they convey certain personality attributes? Do they reinforce shared values? Do they reinforce your legendary service? Your extraordinary quality? Do they create a sense of community? Do they establish an emotional connection with its intended audiences? Are they memorable? Do they create a rallying cry?
I would contend that if a brand does not have its stories, it may be a brand in name only. I wish you great success in crafting and telling your brand's stories.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Marketing Needs Survey
If you are responsible for marketing in your organization, please share your marketing needs with us for a chance to win a Brand Aid book, two hours of free marketing consulting or an Amazon gift card. The survey will take less than 8 minutes of your time. I will post our findings in this blog when we have finished fielding this survey.
SURVEY LINK HERE
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Brand Research Topics
These are some of the areas of customer, brand and marketing research that I think could better inform brand management and marketing activities and decisions:
- Understand how well this generic four part segmentation scheme applies to a wide variety of product and service categories: (a) price conscious customers, (b) convenience oriented customers, (c) brand loyal customers, and (d) category enthusiasts who love to try new products and brands. Determine to what types of products and services this segmentation scheme mostly applies.
- Identify the top few visual triggers for each of the top 100 brands. Include auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory triggers as applicable.
- Determine the primary and secondary personas for people who prefer each automotive brand, make and model.
- Understand what categories and brands are most effective in signaling social status within each social class. Categories to explore might include college/university affiliation, private club affiliation, religious affiliation, political party affiliation, city or town of residence, housing preferences, vacation preferences, hotel preferences, automobile preferences, hobbies, sports, musical preferences, food preferences, etc. Explore which brands across all categories are the most accurate and powerful indicators of social status.
- Related to the previous bullet, identify the top 100 brands that serve as self-expressive badges.
- Segment the US population by anxieties and fears.
- Develop complete psychological profiles of each Democratic and Republican segment including attitudes, beliefs, values, hopes, anxieties and fears. Better yet, explore these segments independent of political party to identify organic groupings of voters.
- Identify price sensitivities across product and service categories for different customer segments.
- Determine the degree to which trustworthiness, consistency, reliability and dependability contribute to brand loyalty.
- Determine the degree to which emotional versus rational appeals influence purchase decisions in different product and service categories.
- Develop a brand loyalty scheme that considers whether and under what conditions (including scarcity and extreme price variance) people will substitute or switch to another brand versus waiting until they can purchase their fist choice brand.
- For different categories, determine what going upmarket or downmarket does to brand perceptions and loyalty for current customers.
- Understand the categories in which aspirational brands can have the biggest impact.
- Understand what elements must be present for people to believe a brand's claim of social consciousness.
- Understand the impact of brand message repetition on believability, quality perceptions, preference and sales.
- Understand the effectiveness of reach versus frequency in generating incremental sales by product or service category. The incremental sales could come from current customers, new customers or both.
- Explore the effectiveness of different types of humor used in different ways in brand advertising.
- Identify the top 10 value-aligned brands in the world. Explore what values they embody and to what groups of people those values most appeal.
Monday, July 20, 2020
Brand Aid Book Among Best-Selling Brand Books
I am proud to announce that Brand Aid is #31 among the top 100 best-selling branding books of all time.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Eclectic Branding Posts
I have compiled an eclectic collection of 25 branding posts from over the years (in case you have missed some of them) for your reading pleasure.
- Brand Research
- 55 Ways to Sabotage Brands
- Branding Municipalities
- When a Brand's Problem is Not a Marketing Problem
- Luxury Brands Quiz
- Brand Switching
- Focusing on the Why
- Brand Tonality
- Mayo Clinic Advertising
- Marketing Careers
- Brands and Memory Triggers
- 20 Research-Based Findings About Brands
- Identifying Riding Lawn Mower Brands by Color
- BrandForward's Next Level Growth Process
- The Importance of Colors in Marketing
- Brands and Tribalism
- Tapping into Self-Esteem Affirming Symbols
- Industry Game Changers
- Brands, Mystery & Exclusivity
- Six Approaches to Brand Positioning
- A Quick Brand Health Assessment
- Mass Appeal Versus Niche Brands
- The Twelve Key Elements of Marketing
- Brand Advertising and Humor
- Just for Fun - The Loudmouth Brand
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