Brand is About Positive Associations, Not Unique Positioning

Anyone who tells you they have the concept of Brand cornered is juking you out. It’s a field that requires you to be a learner, constantly reading and experimenting. For example, consider Geico, whose campaign is a master class in brand associations.

Why is the Geico brand so successful?

Their video campaigns are all over the map, but yet so successful they’ve launched a “best of” campaign in their own inimitable style. Have you seen the new “Best of Geico” campaign?

Why does this work so well, and why does it matter for you?

For example, for a long time branding was about creating a single “distinctive.” People would ask, what is the one thing that makes you unique? But the problem with the “unique” idea is that it suggests that decision making is entirely extrinsic, when in fact we make decisions based on a complex set of mostly internal associations in our mind.

As my friend Chuck Hunter once told me, “we’re not thinking people who sometimes feel, we’re feeling people who sometimes think.”

We Make Huge Personal Decisions in Life Based on Brand Associations and “Happiness” Not Cold Calculations

Shoot, we do this with marriage and jobs and the really important stuff. So of course it means that we do it to brand, too. As the article linked below says, “The battle for growth does not take place on the internet or on store shelves. Rather, it takes place in the subconscious mind of prospective customers.” And that subconscious mind isn’t a logical linear place, but a place of feelings and associations and memories. The implications are vast.

For example, when the place of decision making is the subconscious (aka the heart or the soul), the goal becomes not a single rational distinctive but a wide variety of unarticulated impressions. The goal of the communicator then is to make as many connections as possible to the positive places of a person’s subconscious.

This explains why Geico is so successful, even when it breaks all the rules.

For more on this, read this great article from the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania:

Cracking the Code on Brand Growth