Brand Experience and Placebos

May 04 2014 Published by neilgains under brain science

“We expect small things to be lighter than big things, to get smaller as they move away from us, and to grow larger as they get nearer … Though seeing and hearing and touch seem simple and direct, they are not. They are fallible inferences based on knowledge and assumptions which may or may not be appropriate to the situation. Listen to a tape recording of an audience clapping. In the kitchen, it sounds like bacon frying. In the garden, it sounds like rain.” – Richard Gregory

Marketing and branding are all about creating instant meanings, and there is a lot to be learnt from how placebos work. This is not to argue that marketing is about ‘happy pills’, but rather that expectations matter and marketers need to think carefully about how expectations are created and linked to the things that people value.

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Marketing and Music

Apr 06 2014 Published by neilgains under sensory branding

Music is one of the most powerful tools in the armoury of marketers. When executed well, music can have a profound effect on a brand’s success (think of Coca-Cola, Hamlet cigars, Cornetto ice cream or British Airways’ glory days). In Brand Hits, the authors cite figures that show that the average brand spends between 10 and 20 million dollars every year on music rights and licenses (without even thinking about the media costs which probably multiply this number by a factor of five to ten). They ask how many brands have actually become famous through their use of music, creating long-term value as well as short-term impact? Read more »

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Does your Brand have the Right Emotional Profile?

Mar 27 2014 Published by neilgains under emotion

Has the marketing world finally caught on to the importance of emotion in advertising and branding? I’ve read a flurry of articles recently, and finally in the mainstream marketing press, discussing the importance of leveraging emotions.

This is a topic that TapestryWorks have been discussing for a long time, although we can’t claim to be the first. Many have seen their importance, since the beginning of the advertising and market research industries, although the argument was buried for decades by models of ‘persuasion’ that permeated the rational minds of big business. Read more »

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The Colour of Business

Mar 10 2014 Published by neilgains under sensory branding

When you see a pink ribbon what do you immediately think of? If you’re like me, you will make a connection to the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, which has made a pink ribbon its own unforgettable icon.

Our visual perception dominates the senses, and colour is the most powerful of our visual sensation, which is why I place it at the top of the sensory hierarchy in the esSense® sensory branding framework presented in Brand esSense.  That’s because colour primes humans like nothing else, not only because of its powerful symbolic value, learned through nature and culture, but also because it can have a direct physical effect on our bodies. Read more »

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Is your Brand using the right Symbols?

Feb 25 2014 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Our world is full of symbols, and we are all surrounded by symbols and signs every hour of every day. Our brains constantly use signs and symbols to access mental shortcuts. These shortcuts allow us to simplify and manage the world in all its complexity. For brands, these shortcuts are important to how customers perceive category and brand identities. Once established, such identities are hard to disrupt. Read more »

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30 Ways to Connect with your Customers

Feb 12 2014 Published by neilgains under sensory branding

How does your brand show its true identity? Many brands focus on their visual appearance and most especially their logo, against an already cluttered and over-crowded visual environment. There are huge opportunities in exploring how brands can connect with their customers across other less densely occupied touch points. Read more »

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What Marketing Can Learn From Brain Science

Nov 19 2013 Published by neilgains under branding

Many of our intuitions about behaviour are now being confirmed by some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology. Although market research is making great strides to incorporate this new understanding of the mind, there is a long way to go. Much marketing and market research practice continues to hold tightly to the belief that decision-making is rational. Which leads to three key questions for marketing:

  1. How important are emotions in advertising?
  2. How do we all really make decisions?
  3. How can we leverage emotional signals in marketing? Read more »

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Brand Identity and Signal Detection

Nov 08 2013 Published by neilgains under branding

“Turn up the signal, wipe out the noise” – Peter Gabriel, Signal to Noise

Successful marketing builds the physical and mental availability of a brand. Robert Woodruff, former Chairman of Coca-Cola once said that the brand should be “always within an arms reach of desire”. Coca-Cola does a great job of building physical distribution. How do brands build salience in customers’ minds? The key is to create a rich network of relevant associations with the brand and ensure that the brand’s signal is always heard above the noise of the marketplace. Read more »

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Building Emotional Brand Experiences

Sep 15 2013 Published by neilgains under sensory branding

Recent work by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA; Binet & Field, 2012) has reinforced the difficult truth that emotions are key to long-term brand success, outperforming the efficiency and profitability (ROI) of advertising which is rational, and even that which is a combination of rational and emotional (by 2 to 1). Their analysis does support that rational messaging can have strong short-term effects (eg promotional campaigns), but long-term effectiveness is very weak compared with campaigns that create an emotional connection (implicit or explicit) with target customers. Read more »

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