Over Branding

'‘Jim Stengel, P&G’'In 1965, 80% of 18-49 year olds in the US could be reached by three 60 second spots. In 2002, it needed 117 commercials to do the same

I read this stat the other day and while not surprising, it got me thinking in terms of branding. As the branded experience becomes ever more popular with more companies delivering the complete branded package than ever before, as consumers is the branded experience likely to go down the same ‘annoying’ route as advertising?
Can it go too far?
And also, is Brand always a positive thing? I’m of a generation raised on brands, as branding experiences strengthen and the understanding of consumers increases are we entering dangerous territories?

This is a very interesting point. I think Branding has started to change over the years. The days of us being influenced by TV ads and Billboards is starting to fade away and giving more opportunity to avenues such as Facebook and others networking sites. This includes viral advertising, web adds (such as on yahoo) and product placements with POP stars. This is due to the fact that most people do not watch TV adds anymore and print adds tend to get lost and go un-noticed.

With this said I think that in store brand experience has started to increase. People, especially in these tough economic times are looking for more out of a product. They want an experience. This includes from the time they see the product on shelf to the the time that they either use or consume the product. This makes them feel a sense of enjoyment out of what they have purchased and in some case they start to create a bond and connection to that brand.

That’s a point I’ve been trying to stress to people for some time now. Advertising effectiveness decreases as you increase your advertising (and your competition increases theirs). A dramatic demonstration of this is beer. Millions are spent on a spot to battle for tenths of a percent of market share. Very expensive.

Strong Branding can hurt you if you have a product catastrophe as well… I’ve heard two stories:

One was that Ryder rental car company had to do a major branding overhaul after Timothy McVeigh used one of their products in the Oklahoma City bombing. Apparently their logo was used in the computer re-enactments and they felt their brand had been tarnished.

Another was Vestas wind turbines. Every once and a while a wind turbine catches fire because the internal radiators malfunction. A Vestas turbine burned, and there happened to be a Vestas van parked underneath AND there was major media coverage. The Vestas logo was in almost every photo. I hear they had to go to Google and other search engines and threaten lawsuits to block the image from coming up in search engines…

Even if there wasn’t a logo, if a company had a very strong visual branding, it would be recognizable… I heard these once as an argument against impactful branding on a new product

speaking of beer advertising, have you seen the Dos Equis adverts in Canada running at the moment ?

The most interesting man in the world

Best ad I’ve seen in a long time. My wife loves it so much she keeps buying the beer when we are out.

When you nail it, it works well.
So I think millions are spent in the hope that one day they do nail it and they reap the rewards a plenty.

The ‘I Am Canadian’ ad comes to mind too.

giving more opportunity to avenues such as Facebook and others networking site

Social media is doing some great things when it comes to mixing up the natural order of things. It gives the consumer a voice and puts the brand/company into the user hands. It’s also gives power to smaller brands, a growing trend in its self.

One brand I find very interesting is MUJI. The fact that they are some what of an ‘anti-brand’, while at the same time their ‘anti-brand’ message strengthens the brand as a whole, I find it all quite ironic. Though I’m still a fan.
If I did an appaling job of explaining myself there, this should clear things up a little:

‘‘MUJI x Hypebeast’’… That’ll be the day. :open_mouth:

This reminds me of a promotion we (Mars) do in Europe. On Facebook a user can give a Bounty Bar as a gift to any of their friend. When they choose this the giver pays for the bar and the receiver gets a coupon for a free Bounty bar. This not only makes them happy but also because of this option it strengthens the Bounty brand.

Pretty clever concept.