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Motivational Research

Your Brand Strategy Sweet Spot

Why are people with similar needs and circumstances loyal to different brands?
Successful brand strategy needs to include 3 elements:

The brand strategy sweet spot, where it all comes together, happens in the minds of your customers.

The self-image reflection
People are attracted to brands that satisfy their needs and reflect their own self-image and values.  To understand your brand's image, the focus needs to be on the self-image of its customers.
Would you ever say to a brand, You complete me?
Probably not.  But in your mind you might feel that way.  I love driving a Jeep.  To me, the typical driver of a Jeep like mine is an independent, self-reliant, and adventurous bloke, who lives up north in a cabin he built with his own hands.  But this is not the way I would be described by someone who knows me.  I live in a house in suburbia, and frankly, not real skilled with a hammer.
But there is something about the Jeep brand that connects me to that aspirational self-image.  There are many other fine vehicles with similar - even identical - functional characteristics; but my vehicle choice was ultimately driven by the brand.
Motivations driving brand affinities are mostly hidden
If you ask someone why they prefer a particular brand of vehicle (or cell phone, or dishwasher, or perfume, or soft drink, etc., etc.) you'll typically hear answers about some particular feature they like, or the price, or perceived quality, and so forth.  There is certainly some value in those kinds of insights, but they don't explain why some or most competitive brands of comparable products were never even considered.
These front of mind, rational reasons that people give to explain their brand choices are called intellectual alibies.  They may explain the reasons why a person bought that particular kind of product, but they often fall short in explaining the brand choice.
Painting the motivational landscape of the domain
To understand motivations, we look beyond product or service categories to the broader context or domain.  For example:
  • Automotive brand preferences start with feelings around driving
  • Attitudes towards banks or credit cards are often shaped by how people deal with the tension around money management
  • The type of relationship a person has with their pet is a big factor in their choice of pet food products and brands
The analysis of the insights gained from a Brand Strategy Research (BSRTM) study enable us to define and display these hidden motivations and competitive brand positions in a Motivational Landscape of the domain.
The blank canvas starting point looks like this:

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically disrupted people's lives and lifestyles, and brand affinities are clearly impacted.  Now more than ever, new insights are needed regarding people's new requirements and the roles that brands play in their lives.
What are your brand strategy needs?  Perhaps we can help you.  Let's talk about it!