A brand is a cluster of meanings. Those meanings need to be constantly burnished, renewed, and modified.  And they need to be understood. From the customer’s perspective.
Lots of things can influence brand meaning, and many of them are beyond the brand owner’s control – cultural trends, competitors’ moves, direct personal experience, changing social attitudes. So a good question to ask is, “what does my brand mean?” And a good person to ask is the customer.

Pennzoil managers used to think that their brand was about “protection” (it was in their slogan, after all) – until research revealed it didn’t define the brand in the public’s eye. The viral hit of 2010 was Old Spice’s “The man your man could smell like” campaign. In shaking off perceptions of Old Spice being a brand your dad used to use, it was very successful. It generated huge awareness and word of mouth. But after the dust has settled, what does Old Spice stand for? Is its meaning clearer than that of Axe?

Brands are also dimensional. At one level Disney stands for fun and family entertainment. But what the brand is ultimately about is keeping alive the magic and wonder of childhood. Whether you’re nine or thirty-nine.

With the right inspiration, brands can catch light in peoples’ minds, and grow from labels on products to icons of meaning.


Batey SigdeMarca1 cr

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