r6 - 18 Sep 2006 - 17:05:57 - PieterHartsookYou are here: OSAF >  Projects Web  >  CommunityHome > BrandingExercise > BrandingProcessPlan > BrandAssociations

Goal: The goal is to finally rank the top 2 or 3 associations and then select the focus for the brand. (This is the goal for the Brand Focus Meeting on 9/19/2006) The association focus will be the consistent ongoing message repeated in almost all communications. For example the "elevator pitch" statement or positioning statement in addition to identifying the target market and defining the product, should include the top 1 or 2 brand association we want establish.

Brand Associations

There are concrete associations and abstract associations.
  • Concrete associations are benefit- and feature-oriented (Transient)
  • Abstract associations are intangible (emotional) and usually related to images customers regard as positive or pleasing (Apple's apple, slogans, logos, and attidues) that act as memory shorthand for the company or product and may have longer sustained relationship than feature-related associations that may change over time as the product evolves. (Enduring)

Finding the focus

Process: Node maps are generated through a series of interviews identify the similarities in user perceptions about the product (and also identify divergent perceptions).
  • If you could list only three reasons why you buy our product rather than one from another company, what would they be?
  • Keep the associations simple and limited to one or two words in length.
Then select based upon:
  • valued by the customer
  • believable, sustainable, and appropriate
  • able to create positive feelings and make people feel good abou the brand
  • defendable
  • fits market's perception of brand
  • naturally connected to brand
  • different from competitors
  • proven by research to be tied to purchase
  • easy to remember
    • -TechnoBrands p.122

Brand Association questions

As part of the association identification process you can ask:
  • If the product were a famous person or character who would it be?
  • What kind of animal would it be?
  • What kind of car (etc.) would it be?
  • If the brand died tomorrow, what would be on its tombstone?

Simple Node map

  • Node map - Chandler

More complex Node map

  • Node_map_-_Chandler_-_Mimi.jpg:

Brand Ladders

Process: (similar to Node Mapping) through a series of interviews identify the similarities in user perceptions about the product (and also identify divergent perceptions).

Goal: The Brand Ladder exercise helps to understand the user-centric, value proposition of a product feature or attribute. For example, one of the feature of Chandler is easy sharing of calendars, but we want to describe and record the value of this feature for the user. We will incorporate the top values in the branding messaging. Again, as with the Node Map associations, we want to be able to focus on just one or two associations, be consistent, and keep reinforcing those associations over time.

The ladder starts at the bottom with the feature and builds upward asking the questions what is the benefit of this feature to the user, what is the value of this benefit in your job/life, and finally, why is this important to you.

  • after identifying the key attributes (performance-related features) that customers identify with the product and include in the selection process.

  • ask, Which attribute is most imiportant to them in their selection process?
  • Why is that attribute important?
  • What is the benefit in your work or personal situation?
  • Why is that important to you?
Map "heavily traveled" paths the brand owns

Brand ladder example-shared calendar

Brand ladder example - triage

Another example

Worth putting into a Brand Ladder format would be this discussion around a comment Esther Dyson made on flickr about Chandler's timezone feature.
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pngpng position.png manage 2.3 K 10 Jul 2006 - 17:30 PieterHartsook  
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htmlhtml Brand_ladder_-_triage.html manage 9.6 K 10 Jul 2006 - 17:51 PieterHartsook  
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