At Kantar, we help our clients understand how to predispose people to pick their brands over the competition (in case you haven’t heard: the secret sauce is creating Meaningful Difference.)
Ultimately, predisposed consumers end up buying with less reminding, because you have succeeded in building up a bank of cumulative associations on which they have come to rely. As a result, they don’t need to evaluate their options every time they make a decision because they have already created a mental shortcut. Of course, this predisposition isn’t open-ended or infinite; rather, you need to keep reinforcing it through marketing and brand experience.
How do you then capitalise on this predisposition and enable people to pick your brands quickly and easily? You need to trigger instant recognition that taps into the shortcut you’ve created. Enter brand assets. According to Romaniuk and Sharp in How Brands Grow, brand assets, or distinctive assets, are defined as “non-brand name elements, such as colours, logos, characters and fonts that can trigger the brand for category buyers”. To this list we can add packaging, slogans, advertising style, celebrities, and audio in the form of jingles, music, and ringtones.
Global brands that have succeeded in creating instantly recognisable assets include Coca-Cola with its dynamic ribbon device and unique bottle shape, McDonald’s with its golden arches and Ronald McDonald clown, and Intel with its distinctive sound. Closer to home, Allan Gray introduced a unique visual creative style with their sepia TV ads. Unfortunately, it was copied by their competitors and for a few years became a generic cue for financial services. Capitec Bank has created the Capitec Bank sound, while older South Africans can probably still sing along to “Have a ding dong day, DairyBelle”, despite the brand being long gone. Savanna Cider used comedian Barry Hilton as the face of the brand from 1999 to 2011, and Katlego Maboe became so synonymous with OUTsurance that there was a petition to reinstate him as spokesperson after a personal scandal saw him replaced.
Mary Kyriakidi of Kantar points out in her article, ‘What Is Brand Equity?’, that an instantly recognisable brand is not always the chosen one. You need to remember that it all starts with predisposition. After all, it is much easier to reinforce an existing association by reminding consumers of what they already know than it is to start building a new one. Uncover assets with the potential to build your brand and increase its mental availability. Brand Imprint measures how well each asset cues the brand at key decision points.
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