Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who is your brand doctor?

-Bayo Adekanmbi explores how a healthy brand can create a wealthy business.

Brands are not inanimate products we pick off the shelf. Like man, they are living entities and extendable organic identities that exist in the hearts and minds of everyone they touch. They evolve like embryonic creature and grow to take on human personalities that make them powerful forces that control our desires. No wonder, if well nurtured they often outlast their creators and generations of others servicing them.

A retrospective comparative with our elementary characteristics of living things coded as MR NIGER, validates this hypothesis. Brands can move from the factories to the end-users. They are sensitive to market equilibrium, feed on market trends and grow through line or brand extension whilst exhibiting definite growth curve through their product lifecycle. Like humans, they breathe and thrive on the air of consumer emotion as an exhalation of core values and attribute. As animals compete for food and territory, so do brands compete for customers and markets. It’s no tautology that brands demonstrate significant human traits that make it valid to conclude that they can die like every living being.
This reality of “brand death” calls for an intellectual discourse on how Nigerian brands can secure immortality in the shifting marketspace and survive the tsunami of death-causing market virus.

Nigerian brand landscape has experienced more brand demise in this decade than the previous. We have seen more brand obituaries than we have seen excellent brand health state. You only need to be at forum where brands are discussed. It’s all rhetoric of case studies on the rise and fall of our beloved brands.
Those that were inoculated from the virus of counterfeiting could not dodge the hit of the distribution snipers or evade the big stick of regulators. It’s like a serial killer has been on rampage and have left more brands in atrophy and morbidity.

The genuine concern this throws up in the mind of an average brand student is the question of who monitors our brands’ state of health. Are there no observable symptoms that can mitigate against this avalanche of marketing disaster? It seems like our healthcare system, there is a dearth of pre-emptive brand diagnosis. The market is in dire need of anticipatory observers who like modern day doctors believe and live the mantra - Prevention is better than cure.
The biggest epidemy in our market is the preponderance of quick-fix and short-cut tactics of quacks masquerading as brand health custodians. They have got all the buzz words, the razzmatazz and the gizmo of health-boosting treatments without deep-seated microscopic check-up at the DNA level. They are not different from modern herbal medicine-man who calls every bacterial infection “Staphylococcus” with gusto! They are not different from half-trained auxiliary nurses who having worked as a messenger in an hospital goes ahead to set up a maternity clinic. They have midwived the highest brand mortality ever in history. Even the few survivor brands are “haemorrhaging” from the unending internal bleeding caused by the surgical knives they forgot in the body of “patient-brands” during their crude operations.

It’s painful to realise that most of our brand health custodians have survived on a meagre credential of 5-day crash course in South Africa. It’s no wonder each of their brand surgery leaves the brand worse for it. They have stabbed brands for the sake of short-term profits, and have reduced their life expectancy through paucity of know-how.
Like “one-drug-cures-all” peddler in a “molue”, every brand problem is resolved with theme advertising. You cannot imagine how a fundamental product problem is being resolved with a new campaign or a distribution gap issue addressed with a value-destroying consumer promotion!

Your brand is all you have got!
The immediate question that comes to the mind of a curious reader is “why another treatise on brand health?” Well, the answer is not far-fetched. It’s a known fact that the brand is a business’ most valuable asset. It’s not the physical infrastructure or the size of the balance sheet. It’s that special place a company has jealously secured in the minds of the consumers that subliminally propel preferential demand at every point of purchase. A healthy brand is the driving force behind profitable customer relationship.
It’s the admirable soul of a healthy brand that gives the right meaning to all the outward qualities expressed through tangible assets like the company name, the product, tag lines, symbolism, iconography and even jingles. When you go to the market with a healthy brand, you are not just a commodity but a strong emotional link that consumers are fanatically attached to. Healthy brands are truly the foundation of wealthy businesses.

The need for intelligent probing
From Milward Brown’s Brand Dynamic Pyramid ™ to Ipsos BrandOptimizer™ are hundreds of proprietary tools used as symptomatic frameworks for measuring brand health globally. There are even company-specific tools like Heineken’s Dashboard custom-made for this same purpose.
Each comes with its peculiar strength and biases. For example, Nielsen’s framework appreciates the importance of the category where a brand plays. It emphasises a need to deconstruct the category to be able to have a relative brand health scores. This is premised on an assumption that a brand is as healthy as the category where it shares appreciable membership and mental cues.
With so many school of thoughts, agreeing on appropriate measures of brand health can be a very demanding exercise. Like a modern doctor, it is not just the blood pressure but an interpolatory combination with the blood sugar level and body mass index to make a valid conclusion. Woe to that brand custodian who like my great grandmother relies on body warmth to conclude if it’s a typhoid fever. Its therefore pertinent every brand owner must understand the basic underlying principle of brand health measurement before your brand doctor walks in with his “prescriptions”.

Like Jim Lenskold said in his popular book Marketing ROI “The roadblocks and endless detours on the path to effective brand health measures are not the result of subtle errors in the execution of sophisticated techniques, but are mostly the result of not getting the fundamentals right.”

Here are 5 key basic requirements
1) A cross matrix of behavioural and perceptual measures beyond market share scores.
2) Basic appreciation of how consumer perceptions drive positive brand behaviours.
3) Elementary extrapolation of future propensity from current perceptions.
4) An understanding of product vulnerability dimension, measured by how much the brand delivers on its primary reason for being purchased.
5) You must always consider a 2-way approach that matches research feedback with “real-time” consumer buying behaviour.
Please note that a misleading measurement tends to correlate with the employment of ultra-sophisticated black-box techniques, managed by the gurus. The principle is to measure for the pleasure of discovering the treasure. As with any process, the practice of measurement is a journey more than a destination.
It is also important we appreciate that there is no silver bullet. Each firm requires unique measures but always consider an appropriate mix of perceptual, financial and behavioural measures

Beware of cosmetic surgeries – new logo, new pay-off
The brand guru Kevin Keller said “Brands are built over years; it’s beyond a yearly change of face”. So much as it’s important to reinvigorate our brands to be relevant to times, we must not be sucked into the “my new logo” syndrome. It’s a much serious disaster to change your logo without translating it to a better experience, intuitive products, superior wow service, and smarter channels for the consumers. It is not merely in the exciting TV adverts with lovely models and sing-along songs. A genuine sincerity to the cause of brand health is beyond the sensational. Every act must cumulatively support a coherent point of view reinforced by every element of your marketing mix. This is really the most recommended treatment path in the Nigerian brand emergency wards. It’s no jibe to mention that a popular branding consultant from South Africa had to rebrand itself having secured the best share of the “owambe” Nigerian rebranding spree.
We must always remember that “Brands are living, breathing things, not static logos”

The first symptom comes from your staff
Your brand message is as powerful as your brand messenger i.e. staff who deliver the experience. The first touchpoint for brand health check-up is to test how your staffs LIVE the brand at every point of engaging the consumers. This could be through the walk-in ambience, call centre response, problem resolution via email etc.
Internal stakeholders must first believe before you can make a believer out of somebody else. It’s “faithless” spending millions of naira on high-impact advertising and brand communication programs, yet devote little or no resources to make sure people inside the company understand and “buy into” what the brand is all about.It’s simply practising what you preach. I think someone should advise those that “touch the right spot” to learn to stop touching the left spots of the Nigerian “high fliers” or else they will “disVirgin” a global success story

We need to make doctors out of the top management
Brand health tracking requires company-wide resources. Brand-health measures need to be elevated and added to the executive “dashboard” as leading indicators predicting future revenue streams. As such, they should be reviewed by the executive team with capital allocation mindset. Investing in brands is securing future profitability, and as such brand building must be seen as a marathon and not a sprint. Surprisingly, few brands appear be set up for the long haul.

Measuring brand health gives you a view of forward momentum — keeping the brand position relevant by staying ahead of constantly shifting customer needs and competitive pressure.
I strongly believe that brands can be eternal if nurtured well. Coca Cola, First Bank, American Express, Budweiser, Gillette and Western Union, for instance, are still going strong in their respective categories after 100+ years with no finite end.
The “white and red blood cells” of healthy brands are resilience and leveragability and our brand custodians must always realise that maintaining long-term brand health is usually more important than the short-term naira gains.

Latham in his book Brand power said “Brands are living things. They communicate. Act and react. Create experiences. Form relationships. Become a part of people's lives”. If you don't give them the right environment—intelligence, respect for the audience, flexibility and a willingness to change—they will wither and die

While there is nothing we can do to make a dog live to age 50, there are many things you can do to double the life expectancy of our very beloved brands.
Like Bedbury said in his book -a brand new world, “Products and services will continue to come and go, but the residual experiences of customers who consume them will ultimately define the brand.”
The Nigerian brandscape is really calling for true brand doctors who have sworn to the Oath of Hippocrates to be truthful to the brand, the market and the almighty consumers
Maybe you are the one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Elongating the marketing bandwidth in the Nigeria’s Telco

“Shift happens” is the two-word phrase that fully captures the Nigerian GSM turf, especially with the astounding leap from the pre-2001 pent-up demand to becoming one of the fastest growing market in the world. The teledensity ratio experienced an astronomical leap from 0.73% to 35% mid-2008! It is easier to get a SIM on a Lagos street than a sachet of pure water. This may sound like an exaggeration but this is the irony of a market that has experienced more of a big-bang revolution than a progressive step-by-step evolution.

The best of analysts were shocked that their best forecasting models failed to fully capture the opportunity in the then virgin Nigerian market. US-based Pyramid Research has learnt that there are exceptional markets where modern extrapolations do not work. Vodafone Group is the worst hit. Its due diligence failed to see the profundity of the Nigerian market and this explains its permanent loss of its regional leadership and its aggressive quest to stage a comeback.A popular telco expert has described the Nigerian market as a byzantine maze that demands some illogical inspiration and magical energy to navigate through. This is nothing less than the truth!

With a total subscriber base of 49,606.659 million at the end of June 2008, Nigeria remains Africa’s largest telecoms market. (NCC June 2008 Report)The market, though very young has caught the KGOY bug with very quick adoption of trends that are exclusively known with matured market, especially in key evolutionary milestone. From per second billings to 3.5G deployment, the almighty number portability and evolution of MVNOs seems closer than expected.
Please continue reading at

The Nigerian banking industry

Your money or your life? - a review of the Nigerian banking industry through the eyes of an everyday man

From Genoa in 1406 where structured banking operation started, banks have lived up to its Italian name-derivative “banco” meaning a desk or bench covered by a green tablecloth. In reality, greenery of prosperity has accompanied its many years with us. Nigeria joined this greenery with the Bank of British West Africa (now First Bank) on the 31st March 1894. The market advanced from this monopoly to the first “banking explosion" of the 1930- 1950s followed by an era of government ownership and control. Then came the flurry of growth spurt of the early 90s with the good, the bad and the ugly. The most remarkable moment was the consolidation era that came with an industry shake-up that reduced the number of banks from 89 to 25 banks (now 24 post Stanbic Bank-IBTC merger). The land has really been green!With over 1000% growth in total asset base, growing domination of the West Coast (from Ghana to Gambia) and some already listed on the London Stock Exchange, it’s no gainsaying that the sector has truly come of age.

The consolidation era has come with sufficient funds to play in the big leagues, do mega deals and high ticket transactions, and more importantly gave Nigerian banks the opportunity to manage the “almighty” federal government reserve.

The industry buoyancy is not in doubt with most of the players counted among the highest performing stocks in the world last year! JP Morgan latest Asset Management report identified Nigeria as a leading frontier market for part of its new Africa equity fund, which it hopes could reach $250 million. Afrinvest June 2008 research shows that the median before-tax earnings had risen by 141% year-on-year. Continue at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What is the moral of your brand story?

The art of brand building has been severally interpreted as a deliberate narrative of brand footprints through consumers’ binoculars in compelling stories organised like “Tales by moonlight”. You remember the now-rested series on the NTA network every Sunday evening.
They are a special kind of tales—they are well-crafted to transverse time as they build on themselves chapter by chapter and updated to respond to changing customers and transiting markets.

When a brand is expressed as a story, it allows for a coherent articulation of the various entities that enrich its relevance and deepen its meaning beyond an everyday commodity. A brand story identifies the core brand heroes (like characters in a movie), the structural context (hook, plot, and mood), the core message (defined values and point of view) and most importantly the dialogues between the various sub-units.

Brand Story is beyond your 60’ commercials, popular documentaries and slogans, it’s the unique and differentiating story that consumers cherish and relish as a result of their everyday engagement with your brand at every touchpoint.
A compelling brand story creates enduring affection, enrich the usage experience, sustains repeat usage that makes the brand a part of their lives and provide the bequeath to endow the brand from one generation to the next.

In reality, brands can become the collective reference point that unite our desire, forge our sense of choice and become a memorability trigger for the desired brand meaning.

However, at the core of the brand stories, is the moral dimension. The moral expression of a brand is the anchorage for brand’s sustainability because it defines the eternal truth on which the brand stands. They are the transformational appendages that give energy to every brand to outlive time and space. Like our collective experience during childhood, every story is only worthwhile if it ends with a good moral that the listeners can live by. I remember the several tortoise stories taught us contentment.

The question for our modern brand strategist is the need to truly test if there is any moral in our modern brand stories. Volkswagen Beetle’s taught us simplicity, Adidas advanced the cause of possibilities and MasterCard demonstrated many things that are priceless. Dove's new campaign says "dont try to become a model that doesn't exist"

Modern consumers are not just looking for products to buy, but moral standpoints that they can share and associate it because it’s beyond good BUYS, most times it’s the good GUYS.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Sounds like merchandising. Yes, but definitely has got more to offer.
Merchandising has been limitedly defined and practiced as how we get the consumer to see and buy our product. It’s what you see in the open markets or what the promoters or street activation team do to get potential end-users to notice our product. It’s as tactical and basic as this.
However against the backdrop of our market transition to an "attention economy" where there are too much information, decisions and choices complicating consumers’ life. An era where all traditional apertures have become more or less cluttered as media context/relevance ratio is on a regressive descendance. Our almighty advertising is becoming more of organized interruptions and consumers is developing requisite immunity to its viral import.

Mediachandising comes in as an amalgam of merchandising and branded content that fortifies the experience from a “point of sales” to “multipoint of brand immersion”. Apple in-store strategy is a world class example.
Mediachandising helps us to secure brand attraction through a full scale brand projection and more importantly makes our "activation" cost really count for long-term brand building
(picture courtesy Getty/AFP)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here comes faithless brands

Every brand is in the business of building faith.
What faith? Faith in their product, people, process and performance.Its takes some measure of faith to buy a product in anticipation that it will deliver its basic core promise.

The faith dimension in brand followership captures what we believe, why we believe, and the depth of conviction we have for the things we believe in. purveyor
Modern brands are becoming more or less faith-purveyor, using their point of view to teach, persuade, convince, and even cajole people into embracing life-changing beliefs. Guinness is doing very well with Greatness and MTN’s GO clarion call is an all-time success.

However, every brand message is as good as the brand messenger because “True faith starts from within”. Internal stakeholders must first believe before you can make a believer out of somebody else. It’s “faithless” spending millions s of naira on high-impact advertising and brand communication programs, yet devote little or no resources to make sure people inside the company understand and “buy into” what the brand is all about.

It’s simply practising what you preach. i think someone should advise those that “touch the right spot” to learn to stop touching the painful side of the Nigerian “high fliers” or else they will “disVirgin” a global success story

Friday, February 15, 2008

mADvertising from the mADison Street

Madison Street, New York has become more or less the metonym for the modern advertising business, especially because the top global agencies are domiciled there.
Beyond this geographical affinity is the MAD-IS-ON dimension that has characterized the advertising business. I mean the MAD stereotypes in advertising practices, creative execution and even human resource.
It’s a popular cliché that an AD-man is MAD because he lives on the edge and interprets the world as an inverted sequence of manageable entropy.
I believe this is what brings out the awarding winning creatives that have made great brands that we celebrate today.

However, within this MAD-IS-ON space is the growing demand for accountability
Millward Brown Impact study (2007) claimed that 20% of all advertising was not only ineffective but actually damaged the brand. That is mADvertising!

I like great AD because they win awards at Cannes; but I am more concerned about CREATIVES that WIN the very elusive mindset of the consumers. They are actually multiple-award winners because they have secured WINS in many hearts and minds to the advantage of the brand WINNING the better share of the market.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Stranded for the Branded

Strands of noodles have found their way to the ever-creative Nigerian culinary landscape. They came like a big bomb and we are all witnesses of a STRANDED domination of the lucrative food category.
Our supermarket shelves are getting saturated with several brands calling for the elusive attention of the consumers –at least for a one-time trial. Some analysts actually called this a quintessential noodles’ war!

You only need to visit open markets to get entangled or STRANDED in their overwhelming struggle for reckoning with the “powerful trade/channel members”.
Everyone seems to be at the mercies of these businessmen who are running fast to open a factory as a form of business diversification or maybe exploitation with minimal differentiation. Like a STRAND, we have been twisted and entangled as slaves to their whims and caprices.

I see a traditional bandwagon effect coming true, rather than a true cause to expand the market by “exploiting” the inherent desire of the noodle-crazy Nigerians for “the next level” meal . I see a STRANDED market looking for fresh direction in terms of idea extensions that leverage established usage behaviour and defined attitudinal posture to meal-times. I believe we need to dig deep into the fundamental insight driving Nigerians to try new taste and capture their urge to adopt food that align with their existing palate within a defined meal occasion.
It’s no gainsaying that this segment is due for augmented innovations in form and in function

Who will champion a true revolution in this market? Who will de-entangle us from these STRANDS and lead us to the next level of innovation as the BRAND indeed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The beautiful Dove for the Ugly ones

Dove "real beauty" campaign is a classical case of insight-driven ad that explored how a brand can address a contradiction in order to establish meaning and trigger affinity.
I have always believed that a brand is a product which has earned a place in consumers’ lives by "massaging" consumers' ego or sense of self until a mental relationship is built.
Douglas Holt captured it better in “How brands become icon” where he advocated that brands must deliver beliefs that the consumers can use to manage the exigencies of a world that increasingly threatens their identities. Brands must become a cultural activist and a social authority
"Exploiting" the research fact that ONLY 2% of women worldwide considered themselves beautiful is a great way to become the champion of the remaining 98% using a compelling philosophy that "Real beauty come from within"
Dove's advertising offers a democratized view of beauty to which all can aspire within a reality context of being yourself
Dove no longer sells soap. The company is so much more than a set of commodity products. Dove sells real beauty; natural beauty; non-superficial beauty

Monday, January 21, 2008

Transmedia Planning : the answer to media and cultural convergence

Henry Jenkins in his book “Convergence Culture” postulated the future of media usage as a “Transmedia storytelling” using Matrix as an example.
Great works of distillation has also been propounded by Faris and Ivan (owner of the attached picture chart) to explain this for the brand world.

I sincerely believe that the interconnectedness of the consumer world as an evolving TRANSUMER who is largely driven by experiences, discovery and variety (TrendWatch) supports the possibility of “smashing” the brand story into an unending soap opera, perfectly integrated as a continuum in different media aperture.

The idea is that rather than deploying different media apertures to communicate the same big idea, each channel is used to communicate different elements of the idea and yet everything still ties together by a brand narrative.
The narrative develop into a brand communities, in the same way that "The Matrix" generates knowledge communities , as consumers come together to share elements of the narrative (from movies, games, short clips etc.)

The sustainability of this multi-channel integration is the holding power created by the wildfire effect of the big idea narrative within social communities.
A transmedia strategy put lots of things out there, not necessarily expecting every person to see every piece, but creating enough interestingness that people will talk and eventually hear about pieces they haven't seen from someone.
Transmedia planning comes to challenge the long-held media-neutral thinking with a deliberate effort to empower individual media users and the power of the interrelationships that exist between us.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What makes buyers TICK or What makes users STICK?

I observe that most brand ideas are mere exploitative “buyer insight” used to create wow striking effect at the point of purchase, with an obvious intention to just get the products sold.
But we know that successful brands are built on “beyond points of purchase” insight that provides for an extendable brand meaning through the purchase-usage-disposal cycle..
It’s noteworthy that we have not sold a brand by creating attention or attraction, our eureka moment is when we have evoked a sustained endearment that guarantees repeat purchase or referral.
Gladwell in “The Tipping Point” called it “The Stickiness Factor:”

This therefore calls for holistic mapping of the purchase pathway or “road-to-purchase” to inspire a brand idea that addresses all the consumer issues especially post-purchase dissonance.

A great brand must continue to evoke positive feeling from the point of identifying the need, searching among alternatives, actual purchasing through usage and even at disposal.
For communicators, the metrics of a big idea is not just to get consumer’s attention but a robust platform that delivers beyond-usage affinity and loyalty.
(Picture from Linda Formichelli of Getting Work)

Are we running out of INSIGHT?

I have attended several research presentation sessions where research firms come to present tables, charts and graphs in hundreds of slides as findings to an identified marketing issue. The firm’s representative also speaks thousands of words to validate this output with a list of recommednations that are often non-actionable.

However in the midst of these haystack of data, I just cannot find the “needle” of insight that can trigger meaningful marketing thrust. No intuitive spark, no magical ignition!

I guess "Insights" have become commoditized. Basic product truth and research-generated conclusions are wrongly termed as insight.
I believe the essence of a creative distillation process is to arrive at an out-of-the-obvious spark that positions the brand at the core of consumers' heartbeat!
Insights must be deeper as the true intermediary between the logic and the magic of the brand symphony.
Adapting a non-related scenario, I have developed what I call Bayo’s matrix of consumer insight (chart above) to define INSIGHT as “what consumers don’t that they don’t know.”
Go find the INSIGHT that exposes the INSIDE of the consumers.

The future of our business is the “business of the future”

We are in the business of Strategic Planning not because of today’s consumer but because of the tomorrow’s prosumers who will become more sophisticated by the vagaries of superior evolution and cultural mutations that he would be subjected to.
I therefore find it a little difficult to fully align with Economist’s “Think small, think short” article on the future of futurology

So much as I appreciate the issues of extremity and shock effects synonymous with these Faith Popcorns; I believe the consumer must not outgrow our intellectual binoculars and capacity to decipher the future

We play Nostradamus not because of securing today’s market share, but to OWN a significant share of the unknOWN future.

I would rather postulate that while we attempt to see BEYOND, we must act ALONG.

(picture owned by Sylvia Wright of UCDavis Mag)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How far can we elongate the longtail strategy?

I don’t fully agree with the full-scale application of Anderson’s long tail theory in brand building practice as theorists like Mohd Iqbal are propagating.

It’s counter-productive to over-expand or over-dilute a brand’s meaning in an attempt to mean something to everybody (no matter how long the tail is!). Modern researches have proven that if a brand’s projection is a clear and focused lighthouse, consumers can capture the core essence of the brand within their realities i.e. customize the brand meaning for their specific scenarios.
Consumers can therefore contextualise its relevance whilst still inferring the same single-minded meaning.

Universalists must recognise that every brand is a compelling idea that consumers interpret via usage to meet their peculiar needs. I would rather focus on the brand single minded projection and leave the multiple interpretations to the consumers.
Saatchi's One-word-equity is a call to be disciplined in our quest to secure a space in ever-crowded mindspace

Monday, January 7, 2008

One-word-equity and Mimee's Boom-sha-sha

I fully appreciate Lord Richard’s call for one-word equity as a coherent summation of the brand meaning into a simple trigger that allow for brand appreciation
I believe that every great brand becomes stronger by integrating its multi-variegated points of mental association into a central word that can diffuse its substantive meaning to the consumers
One good example that comes to my mind is what Boom-sha-sha has become for Mimee brand of instant noodle.

As a challenger brand in a near monopolistic market, the strategic challenge was to extend its relevance beyond the functional deliverable of a good taste.
It has to create a larger-than-life imagery to drive its road-to-market strategy. The brand leveraged the mystical power of a mnemonic built with strong expressive attitude as a way of securing consumer attention. It worked. Trial to exposure rate was very high…very high indeed.

The mystery surrounding “Boom-sha-sha“ is so deeply entrenched that consumers have come to associate their magical moments with the brand.
This finds a fit with the brand mantra “more to mee”

Does this brand resonate? Part 2

The dynamics of the bond and implications of brand resonance can be appreciated through the theory of magnetism.
A magnet is a material or object that produces a magnetic field. A "hard" or "permanent" magnet (like a strong brand) is one which stays magnetized for a long time. Relative to a brand, every encounter or experience you have with the brand is long-lasting and deeply entrenched. It could b an exposure to the brand’s communication or a visit to a retail outlet.
A "soft" or "impermanent" magnet (like a weak brand) is one which loses its memory of previous magnetizations. These are typologies of brands that we hardly remember or listed in our consideration set. Previous experience is not memorable or evokes any emotion that can induce repeat usage.

I will explain this magnetic theory better through 2 key principles:

Magnet only attracts its like: Brands can only attract consumers who “share” so much with the brand. This supports the theory of brand personality which posits that brands have got human dimension. A brand can be caring, loving, repulsive, energetic etc. Consumers will therefore buy into brands that fully match their present or desired personality.
Just profile a man, on the MTN network, it won’t be far-fetched to know he is global/international/very aspirational and has found a parallel in the brand

Every magnet creates a magnetic field: Every brand must create a sphere of influence either within or outside its category. This sense of membership allows for comparison and consumer appreciation. No brand can exist in isolation. It must enjoy significant point-of-parity before creating its differentiation through the points-of-difference.
A brand’s “magnetic aura” can come in form, packaging, name, slogans, colour mnemonics, product shape, communications etc.

A great brand is therefore measured by how influential it becomes in the marketplace. It’s respected by its ability to shift competitive equilibrium and worshipped by its quest to make an average consumer see himself bigger than he is.
The big question in modern brand world is “How magnetic is your brand?”