The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Sidney J. Levy of the University of Arizona was one of the original founding thinkers in the area of brand imagery. He defines a brand image as "a condensation of all experiences a person has ever had in conjunction with a brand." The experiences include memorable family stories, odd-looking design elements, tastes (for food products), special usage rituals, unusual sounds, and any other way the product consciously or unconsciously impacts our senses, memories, hearts, and minds. To assess brand imagery is to unearth these impressions and interpret and integrate them in terms of a unified whole.
How to get at all these pieces? We will cover this in the following weeks, although a beginning trick is to simply ask for respondents coming to focus groups to each write down and bring in two memorable family stories about the brand. Assuming four groups, this gives us 80 stories. The stories are analyzed like literary texts to get at brand characters. In one story for Dr. Pepper, for example, a teen respondent wrote how he and two other boys "ran away from a bully who wanted to take our Dr. Peppers." The story reveals the strong taste connection of this brand – but also the timidity and lack of power and bravery among teen Dr. Pepper drinkers, attributes more typical of teen Coke and Pepsi drinkers. It was three Dr. Pepper drinkers against one bully! Accordingly, in the groups, the Dr. Pepper drinkers were extremely quiet and timid.
Contributed to BSI by: Jeffrey F. Durgee, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored By: Brand Aid