Let’s start with a simple example. I was walking across the computer hardware shops: all kinds of brands were busy displaying their wares. I spared a thought for a few notable displays amongst them but kept walking on in any case. A polite salesman stopped in the main lobby with shops surrounded and spoke of the new dealing that was being given out by a rather household name in PCs. They were following through with a new campaign and had plastered their posters all across the lobby. While the salesman talked to me, my eyes wandered towards the posters again and again. It’s important because I was not really considering buying anything from the brand in this visit or in the long run. As I saw the posters and promotional again though I realized how the design had sleekness to it and the machinery looked very robust. I thought that it was a product which I can at least consider buying or I would not exactly mind possessing it.
The above example is a perfect one of “acquired taste”. Acquired because I certainly was not in the mall with the intention to shop for that brand or even the equipment but leaving the mall I had one idea
“I probably have to buy headphones soon”.
Does this mean that the subliminal approach of branding is in creating a need where one does not exist? That is one application which you can draw out but overall marketers know that in many cases humans begin to crave things more when they see it for a longer time. That certainly explains well as to why I started entertaining the idea of buying new hardware.
But what is Branding Based Upon?
There is no easy answer to this question. Branding typically is all about building appeal by means that are debatable. Aesthetically, you can argue that you can build a successful brand image by tapping and catering in to almost any kind of emotion. In fact Susan Gunelius writes an engaging piece about how something as remote as fear can be used by marketers to build a brand image. So it goes back to a host of factors.
My own take on the subject is a bit broader. Branding in my view is built upon ideas that a certain audience is most accustomed to. One can argue that this is precisely why personas were even associated with strategies when brand stories were being constructed.
You never Construct a Story for All Kinds of Viewers..
If a user is more susceptible to ideas about family and love then the best manner in which you can sell something to them is via creating an ad of product and basing it on togetherness and quality family time. A lot of household names have gone down that track and it works because when you have two products sitting side by side on the shelf, of equal quality, then you pick the product whose ad appealed to you the more. Sometimes the recognition can even be associated with the physical material of the brand which can have an equally strong effect in setting up the brand persona.
Familiarity Sets in..
Now take this debate over to the digital realm and you will see a couple of interesting patterns. You know when did ecommerce really begin to score good numbers of sales on their charts? That’s right, it happened a few years within the boom of the smartphones. Smartphones meant more people were online on times and places they normally would not be online at. This meant they were exposed to a lot of online marketing a lot more and this is where they became familiar with it. The whole jump from multi channel to Omni channel marketing makes that transition a lot smother. Your devices are synced and the website you visit shows you brands and products based on what you had been browsing off their website, even if it was from another device. Good practice? Absolutely, because it offers continuity and the user simply gets to peruse where he left off. There are plenty of examples of good details shown in Omni Channel marketing by ecommerce platforms even which serve as a good start for marketers looking to optimize digital retail campaigns.
The Moral of the Story
The metaphor sounds cheesy but it applies beautifully. Consumers eventually become warmed to an idea when they see it enough which is why a lot of marketers originally went for interruptive ads online. The new strategies are different, you can have entire blogging campaigns set up which allow you to give enough details about a new product on enough channels online. As long as the strategy is applied well, you have all the opportunity to create for yourself an epic brand.