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Brands must have a deeper meaning

Brands must have a deeper meaning
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First Published: Fri, Aug 01 2008. 10 41 AM IST

Updated: Mon, Aug 04 2008. 03 55 PM IST
Mumbai: Those who quit jobs are those who generally quit their bosses, not necessarily their jobs. It is this truth that pulled Naukri.com from an also ran to the leading job portal, for a really small ad budget.
A new video game is liked not for its cool graphics as an end in itself, but for being a fresh way of proving ‘who the real man is’. In much the same way, a Mercedes is bought emotionally, but justified rationally for its strong engineering features.
Market forces are continuously working to compare brands with available alternatives and to pull them down to an undifferentiated status of commodities.
As a counter, all brands are trying to leverage some motivation of the consumer for being uniquely cherished. Those who address only top-of-the-mind answers such as ‘it’s convenient to use’, ‘long lasting’ or ‘good-for-a-change’ often end up with a weak preference.
All of us experience products and services at a level much deeper than what these responses suggest. Over time, effective techniques have been made available to men of strategy for managing such deeper meaning.
Simply described, one such framework of ‘Archetypes’ tells us that there resides twelve gripping software programs in our mind, viz. ruler, creator, caregiver, innocent, sage, explorer, hero, rebel, magician, lover, happy-go-lucky and regular guy/ girl.
This framework was enunciated by Carl G. Jung, expanded by Margaret Mark and Carol S Pearson in the book ‘The Hero and the Outlaw’. In India, the ‘Hero’ archetype grips not only cricket stars, but also men and women who enter corporate careers.
That’s why Johnny Walker used punch lines such as ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’ or ‘The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going’; in its ‘Keep walking’ campaign. Axe too weaved ‘success’ fantasies of an underdog lover .
Legendary brands have always latched on to such deeper motives and meanings. Which one are you planning to choose?
The author is senior vice president, strategic planning, Draft FCB Ulka
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First Published: Fri, Aug 01 2008. 10 41 AM IST