As I settle into my new role as Marketing Assistant here at Intergage, I have recently been reminded about what got me interested in marketing in the first place.
I’ve always been interested in adverts I see on TV and in print, analysing their messages and the imagery used. But it wasn’t until I read a book called Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom that I became really fascinated.
In the book, Lindstrom recreates the famous Pepsi Challenge of the 1980’s where participants would take blind taste samples of Pepsi and Coca-Cola to see which they preferred.
In both tests, the results showed that the majority of people prefer Pepsi. However, in the book, when participants were told which drink was which, they preferred Coca-Cola.
The knowledge of the brand had actually altered their tastes: this fact fascinated me as it showed the power that branding wielded in its ability to change people’s perceptions.
Branding has the ability to change the way you think
You can read some sample pages of the book Buy-ologyhere and find out more about the test and others.
Branding, has of course been around for over 100 years (even longer depending on your definition).
However, there are still people who make the mistake of thinking that branding is just a name and logo, although both are naturally important.
The best brands have created associations within people’s minds, whether the person is a customer or not.
Consider the association between Cadbury’s and the colour purple or Apple and product design.
These companies (plus many more like them) have taken something about their brand and ingrained it into people’s minds.
So much so that seeing a particular shade of purple can cause people to desire chocolate or to be able to recognise Apple products simply by their design (without the presence of logos or wording).
This is also where we delve into the dark, shady world of subliminal advertising. A good example of the power of association is when Ferrari got in a spot of bother over their “barcode” logo on their Formula One cars.
It was suggested that the barcode image, coupled with the red of the cars (which is similar to Marlboro) would remind viewers of Ferrari’s sponsor Marlboro. You can see it here and decide for yourself.
There are a lot of arguments and counter-arguments regarding subliminal advertising but it is generally regarded as a practice best avoided.
In short, making your branding distinctive is key to creating a successful business: Engraining strong values, appealing imagery and engaging content into your customers minds through memorable campaigns will only lead to continuing growth and market share.
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