TapestryWorks has been using Visual Think Cards® for several years now to capture human goals and the emotions and contexts that are associated with them. For most branding applications, these work very well to elicit the balance of positive and negative sentiment associated with a category, brand or experience.
However, sometimes we need to dig deeper into emotions, especially when the topic is more serious and with darker feelings. On these occasions, we have often used a model of human emotions based on evolutionary biology and psychology (read more here and here about Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions).
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It’s an old Hollywood myth to “never work with animals of children”, and while TapestryWorks have avoided the former so far, we have often been involved in research with children. Of course, children are usually a little less articulate than adults, but are also usually very clear on what they like and don’t like.
Therefore, a good approach to research with children is to provide stimuli for them to react to. Over the past year, we have been developing a set of stimuli specifically for children, based around our StoryWorks motivational model. Read more »
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”
(William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII)
Marketers have finally got the message and are paying increasing importance to the role of emotions in helping consumers make choices about brands. Decisions about brand, or more generally decisions about life, are not just about associating an emotion with a brand or company, but about associating the right emotion. William Shakespeare was right when he talked about the gap between reality and desire, between being hot and rough or fair and temperate.
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What should marketers know about brand extensions, and the role of their brand meaning in shaping their decisions about how far they can stretch their brand? We all know about the many failures of brand extensions, so how do you avoid them?
The key is always to understand the esSense of your brand and what it means to customers. Successful brand extensions are able to leverage a brand’s esSense, while many unsuccessful brand extensions simply don’t fit with what the consumer already knows about your brand. Read more »
Stan Sthanunathan (Senior Vice President of Consumer and Market Insights at Unilever) recently said that great insights should appear obvious when you look back. Market Researchers, Data Analysts and Consultants shouldn’t feel offended by this remark, as most great human insights are obvious once you understand them. Read more »
McDonalds and Burger King have recently been in the news with their tit-for-tat advertising in France, and in many ways the exchanges are a good summary of the history of advertising between the two. Whatever you think of their burgers, or of fast food in general, the story of McDonalds and Burger King communications has frequently been the story of the small guy chasing after (and reacting to) the big guy. Through its history and size, McDonalds often seems to have had the upper hand and the more consistent brand story (although things seem to be changing more recently).
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Creating Value is Laura Oswald’s follow up to Marketing Semiotics with much more emphasis on the different applications of semiotics in marketing and market research, as well as an attempt to rethink some aspects of semiotic theory and how they relate to brands in the modern world.
In terms of theory, Laura Oswald argues that we need to shift perspective away from traditional cultural analysis and its emphasis on a (semi) permanent structure of cultural values, towards something more dynamic and more focused on how brands create meaning (and value) at the intersection of category codes, cultural trends and the real-life practice and behaviours of brand users. Read more »
The central argument of Brand esSense is that brands can leverage multiple touch points to enhance their brand identity by sending consistent messages across the stories they tell, the symbolism that they use and the way that they engage the different senses in customer experience of interacting with the brand. Building consistency and linkage across brand stories, symbols and sensory experience enables brands to build stronger assets that increase the mental and physical availability (i.e., visibility) that drive brand growth (read more on this here).
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In How Brands Grow Part 2, Jenni Romaniuk and Byron Sharp continue the arguments of the original book (read a review here) with much more evidence and detail on a range of specific topics including emerging markets, service categories and luxury brands.
The evidence they present is clear, consistent and comprehensively nails many of the marketing myths that they sought to challenge in the first book. And specifically they seek to challenge the “but my category is different” argument with data from a range of categories and markets including China and Indonesia that will be of interest to readers of this blog. Read more »