NASHVILLE MARKETING BLOG: Insights on strategic branding, marketing management, general business and Nashville marketing topics. By Monica Powers, Vanderbilt MBA and marketing consultant in Nashville, TN.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scribbling in the Margins: Why Customers Do What They Do by Marshal Cohen

I have Marshal Cohen of The NPD Group to thank for inspiration on this blog's name. I just finished his insightful new title Why Customers Do What They Do. Enjoyed it so much I defaced it by scribbling on all its margins (my mom would be ashamed). Cohen is Chief Industry Analyst at this prestigious market research organization, he really knows his stuff, and he lets the reader in on the trends he sees coming down the pike for retailers and brand marketers.

One of the quotes from the freshly mangled pages on my copy:

"Branding is what makes the consumer associate herself with the product. Branding gives the product personality and image and, even more important, gives the consumer something to share with others."

Ok, duh, so that sounds pretty obvious. But I had to read it three times to let it sink in...I tend to think of Brand as the language a company uses to connect to its consumer, but Brand is much more than that. It is what the consumer uses to define herself, and to spark a dialogue (implicit or explicit) with other consumers about what she values. As a sort of universal language, Brand is spoken by many parties, and takes on a life and power of its own. It is the marketer's job not only to be the brand's spokesperson, but also its historian/anthropologist, to track and understand the brand in all its manifestations.


Anonymous argos said...

One of the things, the very thing, that made me read your new blog was...the title. (that and I love your headshot...kind of a mona lisa thing going on...)

Funny how everyone knows how to speak the language very well. With a new product or service though, could it be that one is attempting to instruct a new dialect? And then early adaptors speak in a new way that seems fresh so that more and more people pick up on the new dialect?

The language of branding doesn't change. It's in the way you say it. ( or wear it, drink it, drive it.)

May 08, 2006 7:24 AM


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