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Understanding Brand Attraction

Editor’s Note: Fresh Squeezed Ideas created a video series, The Future of Marketing and How to Win, to not only share ideas on where the future of marketing is headed, but to also provoke some new ways of thinking about brand strategy and marketing.”

By Fresh Squeezed Ideas

We talk brand attraction and breakout brand strategy in the second video of a 9-part video series entitled The Future of Marketing and How to Win. In this segment, we answer the question, “What do progressive marketers need to understand about culture and brand attraction?”

Brand attraction is subconscious. If Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts were side by side on a street corner, some people would go to Dunkin Donuts and some people would go to Starbucks because for some reason, one of those just fits with them. It’s internal and unconscious. They just gravitate to the thing that feels like them. This is not to be confused with the product proposition, which is all about rationally and what the functional product does. The running shoes need to run. The raincoat needs to repel rain. But, the brand is what creates preference for one thing over another when all other things are equal. And that’s the job of marketing, to create economic value in something above and beyond what the function of the product is.

Once we understand the motivators, we can then build a brand that is both differentiating, and highly relevant, and resonant with the customer. If we look to the leading brands as models of success, we can look to those that have woven themselves into our culture; Coca-Cola, Apple, McDonalds, great examples. So, it follows therefore, that you need to understand culture in order to figure out what you hook your brand to. So people are fundamentally changing their behaviour as they make different decisions as our culture evolves in this new economic era. I’ll give you an example. At retail, what’s winning are the discount retailers, and interestingly, also the premium retailers. The middle is actually dying. That’s a very different behaviour that’s driven by this economic instability, and people are making different choices.

Now, if you ask somebody, “Why are you shopping at discount, and then going across the street to a premium retailer?” they can’t rationally tell you. But, what’s driving it is the new cultural beliefs around economics. So, the brands that are attracting customers, are those that are culturally relevant.

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One response to “Understanding Brand Attraction

  1. The whole premise of this is questionable. It’s based on a belief that consumers have some kind of special relationship with brands. For god’s sake Coca Cola and McDonald are so ubiquitous that making decisions about a soft drink or fast food are no-brainers that do not require the brain of the consumer to make a decisions about a brand’s cultural meaning or affiliation. Retail audit data confirms that a huge percentage of brand purchasing is repetitive not because of brand loyalty but because shopping is a boring and easily repeated task. Even consumers get puzzled by this marketing myth. They hardly care about brands and think most are substitute, with no real differentiation. .Perhaps the 60’s and 70’s were periods in which key points of difference and brand positioning were relevant but those days are long gone. Now its simply availability and ease of purchase for most brands, little more.

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