When you think of a brand, what word pops into your head? What about your favourite products — what word? As a marketer, I often wonder what this one word would be … I wonder whether the messaging that has been constructed is cutting through and whether it resonates with people.
More importantly perhaps, is another question — do these messages build on or extend the experience of the brand? In particular, I am interested in understanding whether people adopt these words as a way of describing their relationship with the brand — and if they do, great. The importance of this, is that the foundations of our brand’s story lives in the WAY in which your brand is experienced. It is not about the MESSAGING or even the DESIGN appeal, but in the way people construct their STORIES of using, engaging and even consuming your brand. After all, every experience is captured as a story.
Think about it … what is your best childhood memory? To explain to me, you need to tell a story. You will have told this story to yourself many times over the years. It will have been reinforced. Changed. Revised with new insight and knowledge. But it is the story that captures the ESSENCE of the experience. And this is why messaging is still important — it provides a framing device around which (hopefully) people will interpret their experience with your brand.
This is why I find Noah Brier’s Brand Tag experiment so fascinating. First up, you observe a logo and then enter a single word response describing that brand. You can do this for as many logos as you wish. But then, the best bit — you can browse the brands and see the responses as a tag cloud — with the more common descriptors shown in large type.
Now, here’s a challenge to all the marketers out there … write down three words describing your brand. Go to Brand Tags and browse to your brand’s tag cloud. How prominent are your three words? Hmmm. Scary.