Political parties are brands. Given that Americans are in the midst of Republican presidential candidate campaigning, we thought it would be interesting to conduct a survey on how people perceive the Democratic and Republican political parties. In particular, we want to understand how the two parties are perceived differently by different types of people. We will look at how people of different ages, genders, income levels, states of residence and political party and religious affiliations perceive each of the two parties. In the end, we want to understand which perceptions are shared across different types of people and which perceptions are particular to certain types of people.
We also want to understand what unites people and what divides people in reference to political parties. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and then, to prove that social network marketing works, please share the survey link with your friends and business associates. We are seeking as broad a cross-section of people as possible. All BSI readers are welcome to participate.Thanks for taking the time to contribute to this project. We will report our findings on Branding Strategy Insider when our analysis is complete.
Please take our survey here.
Sponsored by: The Brand Positioning Workshop
It’s been more than four months since the passing of Steve Jobs. Much has been written and shared in that span about one of the greatest innovators and marketers of our times. In the flurry of remembrences I missed this opinion piece in the New York Times by his biographer, Walter Isaacson. For me, Steve’s lessons continue to surface.
The Genius Of Jobs
One of the questions I wrestled with when writing about Steve Jobs was how smart he was. On the surface, this should not have been much of an issue. You’d assume the obvious answer was: he was really, really smart. Maybe even worth three or four reallys. After all, he was the most innovative and successful business leader of our era and embodied the Silicon Valley dream writ large: he created a start-up in his parents’ garage and built it into the world’s most valuable company.
So was Mr. Jobs smart? Not conventionally. Instead, he was a genius. That may seem like a silly word game, but in fact his success dramatizes an interesting distinction between intelligence and genius. His imaginative leaps were instinctive, unexpected, and at times magical. They were sparked by intuition, not analytic rigor. Trained in Zen Buddhism, Mr. Jobs came to value experiential wisdom over empirical analysis. He didn’t study data or crunch numbers but like a pathfinder, he could sniff the winds and sense what lay ahead.
It is never too early in the process to understand who your brand’s customers are, what motivates them and how to reach them. Doing this at the end of the product development process is usually too late. You will have developed a more unique and compelling solution if it was based on these insights earlier on in the process.
Your solution needs to deliver greater value (that is more functional, emotional, experiential or self-expressive benefits for less money or effort) than competitive offerings for it to break through and gain share. Make sure you understand what your brand’s unique value proposition is. (brand positioning is a process that will define what your brand stands for/what it can 'own' in the mind)
Customer insight will help you create a brand message that resonates with your customers, one that is unique and purchase motivating. Effectively articulating relevant differentiation is key to building a strong brand. In addition to advertising copy, this message can be translated to a pithy brand “tagline” and a brand “elevator speech” (typically 40 to 70 words) that you and your company’s employees can use when talking about your brand.
Marketing your brand and its products should not be underfunded. If you offer superior products backed by outstanding service at very good prices delivering an outstanding value but no one has ever heard of your company, brand or products, how many sales will you get? Zero. No awareness = no sales. Awareness building is perhaps the most important component of building a strong brand.
Future circumstances, already manifest and surfacing, will demand something wholly new of consumers, and thus of marketers, too, something more than a clever new look to rehab an old approach. Indeed, already, consumers are finding themselves forced to mastermind ingenious solutions to unprecedented, newly emerging states of affairs. Going forward, this outlook of ingenuity will carry over into consumer expectations of marketers and will suffuse every aspect of consumer engagement with the marketplace.
The global recession was so severe that it easy to suppose that its repercussions will utterly define the future of the global consumer marketplace. That supposition is wrong. More is at work than that.
Three major cycles are coming to a close nowadays, only one of which is economic. One is technological; one is demographic. And all three are opening onto something new in the face of unprecedented resource constraints.
Consumer aspirations find root in the possibilities afforded by the economy, technology and demography. These comprise the ocean in which people swim. Any shift sets people on a different course. The future is found by navigating the flow of these currents. Based on where we see these three dynamics headed, the macro consumer trend to watch will be the emergence of lifestyles reflecting an overarching outlook of ingenuity.
Yesterday, I was drawn in again by a street person’s story. It is not the first time. If the story is good enough, it tugs on your heartstrings. While, as a brand marketer, I am always leery of being taken in by total fiction, at the same time, if the story is good enough, it doesn’t even matter if it is true. It has entertained me. I give the person some money. Several times a week my wife and I get phone calls from various not-for-profit and political organizations asking for contributions. Again, there are stories. What will happen if they don’t get enough money. What will happen if they do. The telephone solicitors are scripted to paint a compelling picture with words. Don’t religious leaders do the same thing? How many of Jesus’ parables are recounted in the Bible? And there are Hindu and Buddhist parables and stories. I can’t think of a religion that doesn’t have its stories. I even hear stories from people who want to sell me investments. Stories of people getting rich. They paint a picture of how I will significantly increase my net worth too if I invest in what they are selling. And how about the stories told by places? Come to our country or city or resort and have this type of experience.
Story telling is a strong selling tool. Every brand should have its stories. The stories should be unique and engaging and admirable and entertaining and purchase motivating. Does your brand have a story to tell? If your target customers heard it, would it be enough to get them to purchase what you are selling?
Sponsored By: Brand Aid