Monday, January 7, 2008

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?”

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