For some, ‘Branding’ has become a bit of a dirty word in recent years, and with some justification. Widespread corruption of the word has resulted in it being misinterpreted as an aesthetically important, attention-grabbing device.
Many brand owners seem to focus their thinking from their own perspective as opposed to the customer’s view, while some attempt to occupy positions that are too similar to their competitors. Bulldog’s interpretation of the term ‘branding’ is coloured by our adoption of culture study techniques as the foundation for brand development and value creation.
Why does Bulldog use culture as a basis for brand development?
Since the beginning of time, we have tried to understand our place in the world, what to believe in and how we should act towards each other. Answers to these questions have traditionally been provided by the cultures that we belong to.
Today, one can add brands to the vast array of powerful cultures that we are influenced by. Bulldog leverages the fact that people are also using brands as symbolic tools to construct and maintain meaning in their lives.
This meaning-based consumption is all around us – why else would people pay more for organic food, skin care products that aren’t tested on animals, cars that are more environmentally friendly, wines that enhance social status etc?
Why is branding informed by culture better?
Traditional marketing is often based on reductionism and an effort to interpret usage and attitudes towards products, services or the category. Rather then seeing customers as consumers, we see them as people and take it as given that if we wish to influence their purchasing choices, we need a better understanding of the value system that guides their everyday lives.
The thing is, in most cases today customers are choosing between best, best and best so product/service efficacy claims won’t provide the necessary trigger needed to guide choice. Traditional marketing claims of superiority or a USP have become pointless. How then, do customers decide which brands to purchase? With all else being equal, we believe customers choose the option with the closest ideology to their personal beliefs and views of the world.
This is a very important point, ‘their view of the world’ and not yours or ours. Unlike many other traditional communications companies, we won’t waste your time or money on creating a manufactured reflection of how you wish your company to be viewed. The whole point of hiring us is to develop brands based on a better understanding of your customers.
Armed with this understanding, we craft an ideology from which all else flows and provide the tools and clarity of meaning needed to influence brand purchase preference.