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Showing posts from December, 2011

Branding for Good

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This year has been a tough one. The economy is still in the dumps with little sign of recovering. Our political class cannot agree on anything. And people have taken to the streets to voice their frustrations. On a more positive note, Americans have taken control of their lives back. They started living within their means: more saving, less spending. They are pursuing non-traditional paths of development by creating social enterprises in their communities.
These social, economic and political forces shape the way we think, behave and consume brands. The more a brand is credibly in-tune with its social environment, the more love the brand gets from its consumers.
In 2011, brands such as Amex, Hyundai and Panera stayed relevant with customers by pursuing programs that are in-tune with the social environment. Amex launched Small Business Saturday to help small businesses. Hyundai extended its already strong warranty in cases of unemployment. Panera ran a pay-what-you-want …

Advertising in Times of Inequality

An unequal society is a polarized one at all levels. People tend to have not only very distinctive political and social views, but also distinctive brand preferences. Consumers favor brands that mirror their beliefs and emotional aspirations. As a result, advertising strategy in times of inequality might be to market high and low.

 Though North America has yet to reach the inequality levels of other regions like Latin America, the social gap in the US has widened through the years. Inequality among working-age people has risen steadily since 1980, in total by 25%. This increase in inequality has a created a situation of class warfare. We have seen this through demonstrations from the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the political paralysis of our congress.

This class warfare goes beyond the social and political arena. This war also has affected consumers’ brand preferences. Brands are an extension of consumer personas. Brands need to connect with their audience at the emotional level …