A Better Course

“thou hast councilled a better course than thou hast allowed”

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The Branding Game

May 11th, 2008 · No Comments

In case it doesn’t come across clearly enough on this blog, I’m a complete geek about branding, particularly the idea that a brand can come to “own” a single word. One of Nader Tavassoli‘s exercises in presentations is asking everyone in the room to say the single word they think of when they hear the word “Volvo” and the single brand they think of when they hear the word “magical”. I’ve seen that a couple of times now, and watching people chant safe and Disney in perfect unison has yet to lose its charm.

Noah Brier has made Brand Tags (via swissmiss), an entire site based on this principle. You can input what a brand makes you think of, look at how other people have tagged the brands and – brilliantly – guess the brand from the tag cloud.

There’s loads in this; I’ve only really given it a cursory look so far. Some brands a known mostly for a product, others get adjectives (for better or worse). The degree of consensus is interesting as well; Nike seems to have done brilliantly well at being known as a brand rather than a set of products, whereas Gap‘s tag cloud doesn’t really have a clear winner.

Finally, the tag cloud for GE is interesting, because clearly more than one person has 30 Rock as the first thing they think of when they see the GE logo. Whilst very funny, 30 Rock was hardly laudatory about GE, and it would be interesting to know what the second word would be for everyone who chose “30 Rock” as their first…

Categories: branding · marketing
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