Is your brand smashable?

Imogen Riley, Digital Marketing Senior Manager, Adobe APAC – LinkedIn @IERiley

My team and I recently attended Martin Lindstrom’s symposium, Brandwashed. Martin had my attention from the get go – his ability to engage the audience for an entire day was incredible! He takes you on a journey into consumer psychology and challenges you to think outside the box.  Here are the key takeaways I took from the event and hopefully give you some actionable insight on ways to boost your brand.

1)      The brain acts irrationally – Martin begins by explaining how we act irrationally and are ruled by emotions. Did you know 15% of what we do daily is rational compared to 85% which is irrational? Therefore businesses cannot assume their consumers behavior without extensive research.

2)      Smashables – Would your consumers still recognize your brand if your logo was removed? Martin’s concept of ‘the smashable brand’ was a real eye opener. He explained how businesses have to own every aspect of their brand. By this he means a whole range of related elements, sound, shape, colour, a word, an icon and so on. For example, Coca Cola can still be recognised if you remove its logo just by the shape of the coke bottle. Apple is associated with the apple icon, the ‘i’ naming series and many more instances.  Google owns the word ‘search’ – when a consumer goes to search something online, they almost always go to Google (so much so that people say ‘google it’ instead of ‘search it’). So, is your brand smashable?

3)      Word – of – mouth – Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. It can be your most useful or detrimental tool – use it wisely and effectively. “It takes a mere 5% of ‘informed individuals’ to influence the direction of a crowd of up to two hundred people” according to Professor Jens Krause from Leeds University. Identify your key influencers: who are your 5%?

4)      Generation-to-generation Branding: Did you know that 65% of our adult brand choices come from our parents?  If this is the case should we then relook at our target group? People tend to remember their past in a positive way and associate certain sound, smells and taste with it – clever brands can leverage this to tap into their consumers’ nostalgia for the past.

5)      Gamification – We are entering the era of games. Brands are capitalising on the concept of games and using it to drive consumer engagement. How can your brand incorporate a gaming aspect?

6)      Contextual Branding & Customisation – in the future everything will be customised. In this highly competitive environment, brands need to offer a customised experience to customers, either through website content, promotions, product selection or so on. Brands must understand their customers and their social interactions in order to engage them. Technologies such as Adobe Social allow brands to have full visibility into their customers’ social interactions and behaviours and respond to them appropriately.

7)      Have a mission in mind– Clarify your mission to your customer and employees. A mission will create a vision which in return will generate passion. Think about what you are selling, what the benefit is and what the added value is. This will then clarify and simplify your message. For example, Adobe’s mission is: To transform the world through digital experience’. What is your statement?

Get into the minds of your consumers! Go out, interact with them, conduct research, and understand their needs. Talk to them on social media and listen to what they are saying. The more you understand your consumers and how they view your brand, the better you become in responding to their needs and the more you will grow. Feel free to leave your comments and questions.

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