Impressions

by Cochran

My Saturday Branding Lesson

A parking lot with landscaping and a diagonal ...

Image via Wikipedia

So, I was exiting one of my favorite coffee shops after enjoying my Saturday morning cup. I tend to linger longer on Saturdays.

Just for the record, I drive a metallic blue Honda Accord.

As I was leaving the shop, I was reading an incoming text message on my smart phone. Since I was focused on my phone display, I wasn’t looking at my car. But, I knew the general direction in which I had parked.

As I approached my car and pressed the “unlock” button on my remote, I noticed that there was a half-used legal pad sitting on the back seat. My first thought was, “How did that get back there? I never use the back seat and, by the way, I don’t use legal pads (well, not in public, anyway).

Then came the a ha. This wasn’t my car. Mine was parked in the same overall position, just one row over.

My first instinct was to feel embarrassed. Who saw me? Did the owner of the “other” car think I was trying to steal something? Who was having a good laugh at my expense?

As I unlocked my car door, hopped in and sped away, I had a good laugh at my mistake.

Then, another a ha. This was my Saturday branding lesson. Thank you, Honda.

The “other” car I tried to enter was also a Honda. Not an Accord, but a Civic. Not metallic blue, but metallic gray, and probably the same model year as mine.

It dawned on me that this was branding at its best. Even though I wasn’t focused on the cars in the lot, out of a tiny little corner of my eye, subliminally even, I had shown my brand loyalty to Honda. I didn’t walk up to a Toyota or a Mazda or a Nissan and make this mistake. My eyes took me to a Honda, albeit not my Honda.

Was it the color similarity that fooled me? Was it that I sometimes park in that exact parking space (the one where the Civic was) many a Saturday morning? Was it the overall design of the car that I recognized? Did I unknowingly glance at the Honda logo and gravitate towards it?

It was probably a combination of all of these factors (and probably some I haven’t even thought of yet) that attracted me to the Civic. All in all, it was an interesting branding case study. This Accord is only the second Honda I’ve owned in my lifetime. Oh, but I did receive a telemarketing call from Honda this week. Scary, huh?

Pity I can’t time travel back to notice whether there were other Honda models in the same general area of the parking lot. Or notice if there were other cars the same color as mine. Or any of a myriad other factors which may have affected my choice of the gray metallic Civic.

I’d love to know what you make of my branding experience. Please comment and let me know what factors I’ve overlooked in my analysis.

P.S. Thank you, Honda, for the interesting study in branding and brand loyalty. And, by the way, I love my Accord. Keep up the good work.

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February 11, 2012 Posted by | brand loyalty, design, design thinking, Marketing | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Best of #SocialFresh East

I attended the #SocialFresh East conference in Tampa earlier this week. The lineup was packed with impressive presenters on a wide variety of up-to-the-minute social marketing topics.

Though many attendees were online for the entire conference, I find that I get more out such sessions if I focus my attention on the presenter rather than on my laptop or iPhone. I did jot down a few key phrases to help me better recall each speaker and his or her topic.

  My Best of #SocialFresh East:

Don’t think social media. Think social marketing in the broadest sense. —  @JHCdigital aka Jesse Caitlin, eMarketer

Ask for the sale on social.@ericboggs aka Eric Boggs, Argyle Social

Gradual scaling always wins.@chuckhemann aka Chuck Hemann, WCG

Without a call to action, there is no marketing.@kippbodnar aka Kipp Bodnar, HubSpot

Use social elements in all that you do.@ScottMonty aka Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company

We need to concentrate on being social rather than doing social.@jaybaer aka Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

Don’t have a Pinterest strategy. As with other platforms, have goals.@ShaunaCausey aka Shauna Causey, Nordstrom

Assess your company’s social media readiness first.@jquig99 aka Jane Quigley, StrategyJQ

Rather than being a community manager, become a social coach. #ElevateSocial — @adriandparker aka Adrian Parker, Intuit

Beware of measurement bias. Look rather than measure.@cspenn aka Christopher Penn, WhatCounts

Ask one question per month to your list.@cnmoody aka Chris Moody, Red Hat

Do a content audit upon choosing platforms.@MatthewKnell aka Matthew Knell, AOL

Thanks to everyone for an incredible learning experience. @cochrancreates aka Rebecca Cochran, Cochran Creative Group

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Marketing, metrics, Online Marketing, return on social investment, social marketing, social media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment