Kit Kat, Hersheys, Snickers, MnMs, Cadbury, (okay… so we love chocolate), Pepsi, Coca Cola, Parle-G, Bournvita, Parachute Hair Oil, Complan, Tata Salt, Johnson’s Baby, etc. What do these names have in common? Everyone knows them, and what they stand for. Most of these are all items of daily use or for quick consumption- most, in India still can be brought for 50 Rs. Or less. But they are institutions that we have grown up with- just like our religions. We know them like a good friend who was with us and still is. They are BRANDS.
The word “BRAND” has evolved- and how! From a noun to a verb- this word defines the lifestyle of the global generation today. According to the Thesaurus Online Dictionary- meaning of the word ‘brand’ is this:
1. Kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like
2. A mark made by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make, ownership, etc.
3. A mark formerly put upon criminals with a hot iron.
4. Any mark of disgrace; stigma.
Verb (used with object)
5. To label or mark with or as if with a brand.
6. To mark with disgrace or infamy; stigmatize.
7. To impress indelibly.
These meanings clearly show the fact that “brands” are ‘branded’ into our minds as staples of our lifestyles. Brands are the soul of products. As David Ogilvy says in one of his books on advertising, the brand is the personality of your product.
Let us demonstrate this point:
Take a look at the two pictures below:
The jeans in the first picture was brought by 68% more people, in spite of the fact that a single pair costs more than Rs. 4500. And the one in the second picture cost just Rs. 700. Why, you may ask? Because, brand. The first picture is from the popular jeans brand called GAS. The second one- who cares? That is the power of the brand.
The power of the brand rules the human psyche so thoroughly today that it is impossible to differentiate between a material product, and the image it portrays. Give any consumer any local wine in a vintage Champagne bottle, chances are, he/she will not even realize that the wine being consumed is not as old as the label claims.
A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is- it is what customers tell each other it is!
This is not to say that consumers are gullible. Or that retailers and marketers are taking advantage of peoples’ trust. But the fact remains that a famous name induces trust in the minds of the consumer- no questions asked. If they have to sometimes pay more to avail these brands, customers will not really mind.
So, you, the retailer and your marketers- your PR managers or other such professionals executives must be involved in various brand building exercises. Especially if you are a start up or a relatively small organization- hoping to make it big.
You may have come across a million examples of how your product or service needs to become a brand. And we are sure your efforts have lead you to success. But, and this too we are very aware of, you must have spent hours into designing a brand building strategy that all of the decision makers in your team believe will work. And maybe poured money into this endeavor too.
Now, think exact returns- how can you optimize all your resources, limited or large, and utilize them to build an air tight plan, that will yield results. Sounds vague? It is not. Enter ‘brand mapping.’ At IntelligenceNODE, we recognize the value of brand mapping in the life of any product or service.
Brand mapping allows you, the retailer, to learn the popular opinion about your brand. People perceive your brand in a particular manner. And mapping gives you a glimpse into this. So you spent all that time and money on advertising your brand- did it work? Does your consumer get you? And like you?
These question can make or break a brand, we think. And what’s next? How do you reinvent yourself? Because adapting to changing times and perceptions is imperative in the life of any product, and therefore, brand. With brand mapping, you can understand, measure, and improve the attributes that drive brand preference.
Some of the major questions brand mapping can answer accurately:
- Which touch points are most (and least) effective at creating the desired brand impressions?
- How well the brand positions – and performs – against the competition?
- What different audiences – such as employees, prospects and customers – actually believe the brand to be?
- How to better prioritize investments in different aspects of brand to drive greater ROI?
At IntelligenceNODE, we believe that brand mapping will allow you to tailor your content, coin iconic slogans and generally edit your content as and when required. Like Nike with its slogan “Just Do It” managed to increase its share of the North American domestic sports-shoe business from 18% to 43% from 1988 to 1998.