5 Ways Brand Stories Connect

Mar 31 2017 Published by neilgains under storytelling

We all understand the impact of stories in our lives, and increasingly businesses are taking storytelling more seriously as a skill to develop and nurture (I’ve recently run a Storytelling training program for one such business in China and have another public course running in May). But what is it about story that connects so powerfully with us, and how does the psychology of story mirror the psychology of brand choice? Here are five ways that stories tap into universal human behaviours.

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The esSense of a new insurance brand? (The Importance of Brand esSense #6)

Feb 14 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Walking through Singapore yesterday, I noticed for the first time the eTiQa insurance brand, owned by Maybank. Perhaps I should have noticed the brand before, but I was struck by the colours and naming of the brand which struck an immediate resonance for the category.

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Is Donald Trump a branding guru that market research should follow?

Feb 03 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Perhaps the most important thing that Donald Trump has shown us all is the importance of being different and distinctive from your competitors. In a recent article on hbr.org, Roger Martin argues that Trump didn’t win because of a bad Clinton strategy, celebrity obsession or Russian hackers (although they may have contributed). Donald Trump won because people wanted change and he “positioned” his brand as the change and anti-establishment candidate. Read more »

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Joy to the World: The feeling of happiness

Dec 26 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

If there is an emotion that is most strongly associated with the Christmas and New Year holidays it must surely be Joy. In the text as well as performances of the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the world’, Joy is associated with singing and a very physical and spontaneous sense of well-being. [The carol was written by Isaac Watts, a pastor with a father who was jailed for his non-conformist views, in 1719 and with a famous musical setting written by George Frederick Handel.]

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Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts

Dec 14 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

There are now many books about the application of behavioural science to branding and marketing (including Brand esSense). The Business Of Choice by Matthew Willcox is a recent edition is one of the more readable ones, summarising many of the core ideas of behavioural economics in a very business-focused and reader-friendly way. Uniquely, the coverage extends to thinking about the role of human nature and culture in shaping consumers’ decision-making.

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The Beauty of Believing in Brand Values

Nov 28 2016 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Reading Generation M recently (review here) made me think long and hard about the relationship between religious or spiritual beliefs and brand values. TapestryWorks’ research on Asian beauty has highlighted the gap between international brands and the aspirations of many Asian women. This gap is nowhere clearer than Indonesia, where many local brands “feel” much more in tune with local culture, a culture which is very strongly informed by Muslim values. Read more »

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The rise of modern Muslim values

Nov 23 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

There has never been a better time to improve our understanding of Islamic traditions and Muslim values. Ignoring the current political climate in the US and elsewhere, the more important and long-term trend to know is the projection by PewResearchCenter that the number of Muslims in the world will increase from 1.6 billion in 2010 to an estimated 2.76 billion in 2050. The book Generation M could not be more timely. Read more »

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More on Emotions and the Long-Term

Nov 08 2016 Published by neilgains under advertising

Dr Disruption recently wrote about a recent IPA report on short-term thinking in advertising, in the context of business culture that is increasingly short-term thinking and digitally distracted. Peter Field was the author of the report, and he has recently teamed up again with Les Binet to present more insights into advertising effectiveness following on from their important report The Long and the Short of It (which I wrote about here). They presented their most recent analysis at The IPA Effectiveness Week Genesis Conference, with more insights into how advertising can best work for brands. Read more »

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How many emotions can you think of?

Sep 25 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

In some ways The Book of Human Emotions is a remarkable book, managing to cover 154 different emotions into a very readable and entertaining 270 pages. Through short, witty and illuminating essays on each emotion, the author reveals some of the many stories behind each emotion, and although light on science this is a book that is rich in insights into the human condition. Read more »

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Picturing Emotions in Research

Jun 07 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

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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