Can Your Brand Work Like A Drug?
When you see an Apple logo will you become more creative?
At least that’s what researchers have found in a recent study published in The Journal of Consumer Research. Their findings show that respondents who were subliminally exposed to an Apple logo rated higher on a creativity task than those who were not.
These “halo” effects of brands are interesting. If they can have an impact on measured levels of creativity, they sure can have an effect on behavior. What that means is favorably viewed brand images should enhance ratings and audience loyalty over time. This study suggests people want to be associated with things that will make them perform better or feel better.
I am always surprised at how little time is spent on understanding media brands. Have you gathered a group of your customers together and shown them your logo or call letters and asked them to talk about what they mean? What is the personality of your logo/station? Are these personality traits something your target audience admires? In this example…..I want to be creative thus I want to have an Apple computer. I want to swim faster, thus I must have a Michael Phelps Speedo. Or maybe…I want to be smart so I read The Wall Street Journal? It begins with the kind of brand image that Apple, Michael Phelps or WSJ have cultivated over time, and how well these images are matched to the needs/wants/desires of their target audience.
Or consider this. The logo of your brand or your brand image may create subliminal effects in your readers/viewers/listeners that are working to your advantage….or to your disadvantage. If they are working to your advantage, this research suggests your money may be better spent providing maximum “casual” exposure. That is, place your logo in passing situations where defense mechanisms are lower and not as deliberate. This non-screened logo presentation may be more cost effective than expensive TV commercials are that screened out by your audience. The subliminal branding effects can work to your advantage!!
What I do know is this. Even under the most damning conditions in terms of outcome….people still want to be associated with a winning brand. Take golf for example. No matter how many state-of-the-art Nike golf clubs I buy, or Nike One balls I tee up, or Tiger Woods hats I wear…. my swing will NEVER look like this.
But I still keep on trying, and keep on hittin em out of bounds, and of course…I keep on buying that Nike gear. Yikes.
Note: To listen to the NPR interview with the researcher who completed this study, click here Apple Logo Stimulates the Brain.