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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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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The Culture of Childhood: Understanding children’s goals

May 30 2016 Published by neilgains under insight

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 »

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Feeling the Gap: Why goals matter for employers and brands

Apr 29 2016 Published by neilgains under archetypes

“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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The esSense of Brand Extensions

Apr 15 2016 Published by neilgains under brand essense

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 »

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Weaving Sense, Symbol and Story into Brands

Feb 11 2016 Published by neilgains under brand essense

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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Are You Available? (Part 2)

Feb 10 2016 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

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 »

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The Quest for Beautiful Questions in Outer and Inner Space

Oct 04 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In The Martian, the stranded astronaut Mark Watney has to use his wits and scientific knowledge to overcome hostile landscapes and environment, tragic accidents and the loneliness of being the only man left on Mars. The story focuses on his ingenuity in solving all the problems that he comes up against. And why is Mark Watney so good at solving all the problems that confront him? He is also very good at asking the right questions. Read more »

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Bah Humbug! What is advertising really about?

Aug 18 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In The Anatomy of HumbugT, Paul Feldwick provides a clear and interesting overview of the history of advertising and the different theories of how and why advertising works (and doesn’t), from the “Salesmanship” theory of advertising of the early years of the industry (mostly associated with more rational models of decision making) to the “Seduction” theory of the early motivational researchers and more lately of neuromarketing, which inform the central discussion of this fascinating book.

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