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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Know My Brands, Know ME

Your first assignment is to log your day in brands. What you'll quickly find is that branding is an integral part of our lives. Logging your day in brands illustrates the brands you turn to over and over, the ones that are really a part of YOU, and it can say quite a bit about your lifestyle.

This Brand Timeline Portrait was suggested by Dear Jane (click here to access her timeline), and several other bloggers have since created their own brand days. Dear Jane wants to see all those created, so once you are done, send me a file and I'll post them all here and let her know about them.

In anticipation of your brand days, I made one too - my day in brands. It isn't perfect (just for efficiency sake); for instance, Gmail and HP would come up about 20 times on my log if it were really documented closely. (See this one at Make The Logo Bigger - whoa!) But still, it's clear that I have relationships with core brands. These brands are a part of my daily life and I rely on them to meet my needs and make my day run smoothly. Our class is just beginning so you don't really know me yet. What can you decipher about me just by knowing my day in brands? This is where the brand timeline becomes a good tool for understanding consumer behavior - the brands we use reveal much about who we are, what we want and need, and how we choose to live.

Even with the detailed log of brands in a typical day, many of my 'love mark' brands are missing. To give a true reflection of brands that have some degree of activity in my life, I created a brand portrait. Zoom in to see the logos in my portrait.

Think about the brands your parents use, your best friend uses, and so on - could a stranger peg their idiosyncracies and personality characteristics from seeing their brand timelines and portraits?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Think this way

One of my favorite bloggers, Dear Jane, has made an excellent point here. I'd make it myself, but she's done such a good job already without my input!

Consider this our first lesson: Think like the customer. If you don't know how, what, why the customer thinks, find out.

This is what she has to say, "The biggest mistake Advertisers and Marketers make is to forget to think like a consumer. Instead they think like Researchers or Lawyers or Accounts. I don’t know why this happens, but I see it all the time. The talk will be all about the product and how we must absolutely tell the consumer about feature “x” and benefit “y”. With all the focus on the product, the consumer gets lost in the shuffel. No one asks the question “why do consumers want to buy this product”, it seems to be assumed that they will. We all need to remember WHY consumers buy things. They do not buy things because of the 20 item long list of features and benefits. They buy things because:
They need it
They like it
They can’t live without it
It makes them happy
It makes them feel/look attractive
It makes them belong
You know all those intangible, instinctual things that you can’t measure.
We also need to remember that consumers don’t really need us - I’m talking about both brands and advertisers. They were quite happy before we came along. We actually complicated things for them, with all our “brands” of toilet paper and pens. Who cares, it’s toilet paper. But yet we have to make them care and you can’t do that by talking about 3-ply sheets. (Okay what the fuck does 3-ply sheet mean anyways?) We need to speak to consumers emotions and desires. Which is why we have kittens and puppies and Cashmere in toilet paper commercials."