Is There Really No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

Following on from my post on the unconscious nature of advertising, Duane Cunninghamasked whether it was fair to say that any exposure was good for a brand?  The old chestnut of “there’s no such thing as bad PR”. Unsurprisingly perhaps, when it comes to consumer behaviour and the workings of the consumer mind, there isn’t a clear cut answer in my opinion.  Let me explain… For the most part exposure to a brand works positively.  As I’ve mentioned previously, the unconscious (largely visual) detection of brands builds unconscious familiarity and this alone is preferable to nothing.  When the brand is encountered consciously, it feels slightly familiar, safer and therefore slightly preferable to a previously unencountered rival. Often there will be some associations with that brand.  It might be a high street sign, in which case the associations are with the environment of that high street (perhaps upmarket, perhaps skanky!).  Even […]

Reasons to Worry about the Consumer’s Unconscious Mind

One of the joys of a home office is that the commute time is pretty short – I estimate 65 yards from breakfast to the desk.  My preferred option is to get straight into my work for the day – not because I’m one of these incredibly driven types, it’s just that I find it’s one of my most productive times of the day. However, with two young children there’s some healthy competition for my time.  Today I opted for games before school, which meant a couple of games of table football with my son, one with both children and a game called Balloon Lagoon with my daughter.  They headed off to school and I started my day a little later than usual, but still considerably earlier than if I was commuting somewhere. It was whilst I was helping Martha put the Balloon Lagoon game away in the cupboard that […]

Memes and Marketing: Part iii

Tinnitus expert Jennifer Battaglino mentioned that she would like some suggestions on how to apply memes in her marketing so I thought I would add to yesterday’s post on what makes for a good meme by talking about the ways in which you might use them. Incidentally, questions like Jennifer’s are enormously helpful to me when I’m thinking what to write, so thank you for all your questions and comments (this is very much an interactive process – I hope it feels like it!) The key is to think about any aspect of your business in terms of how readily it will be assimilated by your customers and potential customers and passed on.  At the more obvious end are things like your brand name and website address; how easy are these to recall accurately first time? Next come the slightly more subtle elements; is your logo distinctively expressed?  Does it have a […]

Memes and Marketing: Part II

When it comes to marketing it’s important that your product, brand name, company name and proposition work as memes.  That means making as many aspects of your offer as memorable and as easy to pass on as possible. And as we saw yesterday, whilst having both is nice, memorable often beats meaningful.  Our heads are full of junk that we’ve heard from brands (and elsewhere) that have become etched into our unconscious, and we all know we’ve heard jokes, quotes or ideas that, at the time, seemed to us utterly brilliant, and yet a couple of hours later they’ve gone. So what is it that makes a meme work well?  I’ll give you my personal opinion of what can help: Rhythm and rhymes create narrower options of associations thereby making it more likely that the whole phrase will be recalled accurately (if you can remember the first line, the rhythm […]