Added Value evolves new approach to branding
Studies in neuroscience reveal that that people make decisions based on perceived outcomes; how they want to feel once the decision is made. Brand choice is no different. Brand development company, Added Value, unveils an evolution of their approach to branding and insight that enables clients tap into these desired outcomes; an approach that helps companies understand how their brands make people feel.
Global brand development and insight company Added Value has taken advances in neuroscience and applied it to branding and marketing, resulting in an evolution of their approach that gets right to the heart of how brand decisions are made.
Called Brand Connections, and referred to by the company as "discovering the feeling", the approach enables marketers to deeply understand how their brands make consumers feel and as a result gain greater marketing insight and develop more effective brand strategy and communications.
Brand Connections is based on revolutionary work undertaken with Prof. Antonio Damasio, an expert in the area of neuroscience. Damasio reveals that people make decisions based on perceived outcomes; how they want to feel once the decision is made. These decisions are based on both rational experience and emotional reaction, suggesting that we scan our full range of perceptions, knowledge, experiences and feelings before taking a decision. We remember each experience as good or bad and store these "markers" as part of our future decision toolkit.
Brands are no different. Consumers will subconsciously choose one brand over another based on how they think the brand will make them feel. Every time we experience a brand or it speaks to us; it signals what we can expect to feel and is added to our collection of "markers" about that brand.
"This completely challenges the way we as marketers traditionally work," says Alison Tucker, Added Value South Africa's Managing Director. "Most brands aim to be customer-centric, but they approach market insight or strategy by asking brand-centric questions. By recognizing that consumers don't desire brands - rather they desire an outcome, benefit or experience - we are able to hone in on the desired feeling and use it to resolve our client's brand issues with far more accuracy."
Tucker adds that this thinking explains why brand experiences are so important and emphasises all brand touch points and signals. It explains why the 'residual feel' of communication affects behaviour. "It also changes the way we approach insight," she says. "Asking 'why, why, why' forces consumers to overrationalise. This approach more clearly reflects the way our brains actually work when making decisions and gets us closer to finding ways of influencing these decisions when it comes to brands."
In the US, Added Value has taken the thinking further, developing a highly effective quantitative methodology called EBC (Emotional Brand Connections), which measures the nature and intensity of the feelings aroused in consumers when they envision using a brand, following exposure to a brand stimulus. Mark Weeks, group R&D director, and the originator of the EBC approach says "This holds enormous significance for advertisers because it tells them what matters to consumers, and even more significantly, what this means for creating great brands."
The difference between how people feel about brands, and how brands make people feel, is best illustrated by a simple example. There is a clear distinction between whether we think a brand is sexy and whether it actually makes us feel sexy. In a survey that asked consumers their view of Porsche 911 drivers, only 27% of respondents declared them to be 'cool'; but in sharp contrast, 89% agreed it would be their lucky day if they were given an unexpected chance to drive that car.
"Ultimately, it's not what brands say to people that matters, but how the brand experience makes them feel, which is why we think this approach will unlock many of the marketing problems that have eluded brands to date. What we have developed is more than a way of thinking - it's a powerful approach which is relevant to any brand marketing challenge," concludes Angus Porter, global CEO of Added Value.
The company has also evolved its look and feel in line with the thinking, including a new website (www.added-value.com) which explores and illustrates the approach in greater detail.
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Added Value, www.added-value.com, provides consultancy on brand development and marketing insight for iconic brands, both big and small, around the world. We help solve clients' central marketing questions about market, equity, positioning, innovation and communications.- more....