How to liberate your senses and get inspired

Creativity is all about being able to identify connections, relationship, patterns within our chaotic life and processes, put an order or semblance, in order to create something new.

This needs one to: have an open mind, expand perceptual levels, be interesting and ready to be interested in things, as well as be ready to share and let others share too! Thankfully, there are plenty of tried and tested methods, by practicing which you can become more creative and idea generator!

I have covered a few that I found effective for myself.  I have listed these on this page (Click here).

Do sensory brand experiences create brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty is a complex multidimensional subject. A consumer is said to be Loyal when he has established an Emotional Connection with the brand – after passing through the stages of Awareness, Consideration, Preference, Purchase and Usage / Experiences. Several psychological processes and elements are involved within these stages, and Loyalty is established when a consumer decides to repurchase a brand due to its perceived value, trustworthiness, satisfaction and commitment.

The Sensory Branding theory (2003-04) proposed by Martin Lindstorm gave a lot of importance to “stimulation of relationship” with the brand. According to him, our entire understanding of the world is through our senses, and as such sensory experiences dominate our rational thinking, opens up a different level of creating an emotional relationship with the brand and creates a loyal bonding at a very early stage of a brand-adoption-loyalty process.

Lot of brands adopt sensory branding approach – using the 5 senses and their synergies – to create sensory touchpoints for the customers. However I feel that the approach itself could be seen as a subset of broader “Experiential Marketing” popularised by Prof. Bernd Schmitt in 1999. Further, a brand which is high on experiential levels but failing on value levels may still fail to garner loyalty.

With this perspective, I’d say that ONLY sensory brand experiences are not enough to create brand loyalty – even though these could perhaps stimulate the seeds of relationship with the brand.

Sensory experiences alone, do not create brand loyalty – but ease off / open up doors to connect with the brand easily.

Links: (1) Brand Loyalty: The psychology of preference (2) Experiential Marketing with Prof. Schmitt Bernd

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How to measure emotional value of products and use it for pricing

  • I have been always debating that one of the major part of pricing any product also includes the Intuitive/Emotional/Convenience pricing. I am finding different manners to measure it and then put it into product pricing. Would love to listen to all of you about various ways that you use to incorporate it. LinkedIn Question by: Tushar Vashnavi

In the simplest possible way you can do the following:

  1. Identify brands u r competing with and do a price analysis, keeping all other factors (ingridients, features, technology, etc.) same. Chances are that these brands are able to charge more, due to advertising (building emotional value) or services (adding rational value)
  2. Identify the emotional and rational values being offered by these competitors. Simplest ways to do this is to have a qualitative study among your target customers and validating with a dipstick quantitative survey (~100 respondents)
  3. Using these value factors, test out your brand’s / product’s comparative position among the brands – on a 5-7 point scale. eg brand between brand A and brand B which one you feel offer more convenience? Probably you can do it as a part of the validating exercise stated above.
  4. Finally, depending on your choice of differentiating value vis-a-vis your competition, you can set a differentiating price, again comparing with your competition.

Lastly, many of us have a tendency to “assume” or have a “gut-feel” about putting a price based on an Intuitive/Emotional/Convenience factor, which is good! But even then, it’s always better to have a reality check through at least step 3 mentioned above, so that you’re sound in your judgement.

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Is nostalgia becoming a thing of the past as a brand value?

  • The question is about whether new brand managers in a company feel under pressure to change some brand-values for the sake of change? Given that brands indeed could become “tired” if not changed and there’s always a need to make them “relevant”. But while doing so in an increasingly uncertain world, do we tend to undervalue nostalgia ? LinkedIn Question by: Gerry Scullion.

First and foremost, we need to understand that a Brand is like a person (and if you succeed in doing the reverse, you’re great too:)). With such an understanding, it’s very easy to see that “Nostalgia” is a part of a person’s as well as a brand’s personality – whether identified as visible element or not – and hence cannot or should not be neglected! And if the brand manager does his job well, he’d definitely – and I repeat, definitely – find a way to make “nostalgia’ relevant in the life of the brand.

Nostalgia is an important value for a brand, especially on its journey towards becoming “Iconic”. One of the important characteristics of Iconic brands is that they are “super-familiar” – which can be enhanced by repeatedly associating them with nostalgic brand experiences – either modified or otherwise.

Numerous examples could be given to validate the point that “iconic” brands have used nostalgia even in recent times to gain more customers / followings; eg. Coca Cola “bottle” led campaign; Harley’s campaigns, etc.

Now, there are many companies, managers, brand experts, who flout this rule – not because they are not aware of it, but because, their top management (perhaps) insists on changing track at the cost of losing brand value.

In conclusion, YES, in the ever changing “fast” world, “The Power of NOW” rules supreme!

However, regardless their age, there’s always a part of the consumer, which pangs for something he / she experienced in the past – recent or long drawn. Thus “Nostalgia” could become a thing of the past in case of a few companies / brands / managers – but can and would never be neglected if one considers taking the brand to its Iconic status.

(Also refer to following Links below)

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