At Kudzu Brands, we do a lot of educating to help business owners understand how to make their marketing more effective to help their businesses grow. Of course, the question we are asked most often is, “What is branding and how do I use it to increase sales”? To answer this question, we always call upon the wisdom of one of the best minds in branding, Roy Williams, The Wizard of Ads. Read on…..
What is Branding-by Roy Williams, The Wizard of Ads
“Branding” is the hot buzzword favored by smooth-talking ad people who always seem to speak as though it were something new and mysterious. I have yet to find even one of these empty suits who has the slightest idea of how branding is accomplished in the mind.
Branding is far from new. Ian Pavlov won a Nobel prize for his research into branding in 1904. Remember the story? Day after day Pavlov would ring a bell as he rubbed meat paste onto the tongues of a dog. The dog soon began to associate the taste of the meat with the sound of the bell until salivation became the dog’s conditioned response. In psychological terms, this is implanting an associative memory – in other words, “branding,” in its full glory.
There are three keys to implanting an associative memory into the mind of your customer. The first key is consistency. Pavlov never offered food without ringing the bell, and he never rang the bell without offering food. The second key is frequency, meaning Pavlov did it day after day after day.
The third key, anchoring, is the tricky one. When as associative memory is being implanted, the new unk
now element (the bell) has to be associated with a memory that’s already anchored in the mind (the taste of the meat). Frequency and consistency create branding only when your message is tied to an established emotional anchor. Pavlov’s branding campaign was anchored to the dog’s love for the taste of meat. If the dog did not love meat, the frequent and consistent ringing of the bell would have produced no response other than to irritate the dog.
If I say, “It’s a Norman Rockwell kind of restaurant,” you immediately think of the place as being cozy, happy, warm, innocent, and kid-friendly, right? Your assumptions about the restaurant are anchored to your feeling about the art of Norman Rockwell. If I frequently and consistently cause you to associate the restaurant with Norman Rockwell, I am implementing an associative memory into you mind – branding.
The buying public is your dog. If you desire a specific response from it, you must tie your identity to an emotional anchor that’s already known to elicit the desired response. If you make such an association consistency and frequently, branding will occur. But don’t expect too much too soon. It takes a lot of repetition to train the dog to salivate at the sound of your name.
Do you have the patience, Pavlov?
Kudzu Brands is a full service branding agency with locations in Black Mountain and Asheville, NC. Our mission is to provide growing businesses the tools and support they need to become memorable, profitable and sustainable brands.