The Chipotle brand needs help for customers to return

Woe is the Chipotle brand. Its third-quarter results showed net income plummeting nearly 95% versus last year and same store sales declining more than 20%. The food safety issues that plagued the chain last year continue to haunt it as once loyal customers are fearful of coming back.

Chipotle brand
The Chipotle brand is in need of serious repair.

Publicly, Chipotle continues to laud its industry leading food safety program and praising store efforts to create an excellent guest experience. Chipotle has also doubled its marketing efforts and is running its first television ads since 2012.

However, I don’t think Chipotle has fully grasped that its failure is not a business one but a brand one.

How the Chipotle brand can fix itself.

Prior to its very public food safety catastrophe, Chipotle was a Wall Street darling. It touted fresh and sustainable menu offerings, made to order for each customer. The Chipotle brand was so tightly tied with the freshness of its food that it was positioned as the anti-fast food establishment.

So what did it expect when people got sick from its food? Any connection that Chipotle made with the customer quickly vaporized. The expectation with food being fresh is that it is safer than at other places. Being non-processed gave consumers a certain security blanket.

Jump ahead a year later and consumers still feel like they were lied to.

The Chipotle brand is in serious need of repair. Shortly after the food safety incidents, it launched the before mentioned industry leading food safety program. If your brand is supposed to be about fresh and non-processed, why didn’t Chipotle have such a program in place already? The simple answer is that Chipotle never placed the bar high enough to fulfill its brand promise. Food safety to them was non-processed.

This is the rub. It is facing an almost insurmountable climb to get consumers to come back based on the laurels of its past. Chipotle appears to be simply telling consumers, “Come back to Chipotle, this time we mean it!” Customers are wisely not buying it.

As painful as it may be, Chipotle needs to revaluate its brand in an effort to reconnect to its lost customer base. They’re not just going to come back to the brand that has already failed them with a safety program. Consumers need an emotional reason to return.

The massacre at the Pulse is too much to bear

I’ve been beating myself up all day for having not written about the tragedy at the Orlando nightclub Pulse until now.

But then, I haven’t really had the words needed to write about it until now either.

My heart is broken.

The Pulse massacre makes me wonder if attacks like this will ever end.

In the wake of this act of hatred (because it is just that), it’s hard for me to muster up an idea for a blog when the massacre of 50 innocent people is at the forefront.

That’s because when the chickens come home to roost, what we buy and sell isn’t important.

But love is.

In times like these I remember the words of the magnificent Martin Luther King Jr. He once said that, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Now, more than ever, we must embrace this wisdom.

If ever there was a time, we need to wake up because we’ve been sleep walking for far too long.

Must we wait for another Pulse catastrophe to kick start our hearts?

We have a pattern — monumental events shake us out of our day-to-day routine.

I look back at the course of my life and the events that served as an alarm clock for my state of being. 9/11 was one such event. (Reaching further back, Vietnam and Watergate also come to mind.) I can still recall the way the clouds looked that September morning, what I was wearing and what I ate for breakfast. I can see in my mind’s eye the expressions on the faces of those in my immediate life who experienced fear and fright with me, and the grainy newscast we watched on edge at work. I bet you can recall the details of your day too. That’s because we were awake and united, if just for a minute.

The Pulse shooting brings me right back to that place of seeking cultural unity.

I plead: How many more Pulse shootings do we need to have? Or like the one in Paris? How many Newtowns, Columbines, Auroras and Charlestons (just a smattering of the American mass shootings)?

When will it end?

I am reminded again of the words of King, whose prophetic vision rules the day:

“And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

               Free at last! Free at last!

                 Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Brand relaunch. Important elements.

Brand Relaunch. What are all the considerations?

Brand relaunch by Tom Dougherty

brand relaunchWhen it becomes necessary to have a brand relaunch it has become quite evident to the marketing group that the brand is underperforming. Even if usage has increased the metric of comparing growth to a competitor’s success might illuminate a weakness.

Experience tells me that this underperformance and market weakness is usually a result of insignificant meaning. For some reason, the brand is not resonating as strongly as it should and as a result the market performance is less than expected.

Brand relaunchRelaunching a brand is similar to rebranding. But rebranding has some built in bias in its very language. It turns out to be very similar in scope but it SOUNDS more drastic.

It actually is not drastic. Point-in-fact  rebranding requires a relaunch and a brand relaunch requires some elements of rebranding.

In our experience a weakness in brand meaning is often brought to a head through market research. Here are some of the signs that a brand relaunch is well overdue and a brand intervention is needed:

Here are the top four reasons to consider a brand relaunch:

  1. The market research indicates quite clearly that the target audience cannot identify the brand’s strategy clearly. Often they return a variety of meanings if the brand has any resonance to them at all. In other words, prospects are confused about the brand’s promise and its valued position in their lives.
  2. On target for a brand relaunchThe research has uncovered a brand meaning that is highly emotional and resonant with the target audience but is not the meaning you claim. If this value position is not CLAIMED by any competitor in the category, it might be a smart move to reposition the brand to own that valuable space. If the brand meaning returned in the research reflects an erroneous value mentioned in point 1, you need to think about brand repair. If the brand returns a variety of values and none of them are negative or contrary to the new position a brand relaunch without brand repair may be in order.
  3. If the research indicates that the market scape has significantly changed and while still valuable, the new opportunity is of higher emotional intensity than the old one, a change would be indicated.
  4. A new competitor has entered the category and has reshaped the market scape into one that is particularly advantageous to their brand and places your legacy brand in a disadvantageous position. If true, you might want to consider a brand relaunch as well. No brand, regardless of it position in the category, can afford to ignore a sea change in the category for long. Remaining stationary while a new competitor reshapes opinions and preferences is a recipe for marketing disaster. The sooner your brand responds the better.

Planning is important

The elements of a relaunch require some well defined planning. Tough questions must be asked and the resultant answers addressed. Too often in our experience, brands want to back into a new positioning— thinking that all they need is brand relauncha new tag-line and color palette. But, the elements of success are broader than this.

Think about this marketing problem and subsequent brand opportunity logically. The first thing you need to do is to get those that have awareness of your brand (based upon the market research) is to recognize that something important has happened. That the brand HAS changed.

You may wish to do this on the cheap and change as little as possible but relaunching to a new improved position has requirements.

Symbolism is key

The new brand must be granted permission to occupy the new space in the mind of the prospect. It needs to demonstrate a new and important promise. It needs to have a singular clarity of purpose that is so powerful that no one in the target market can afford to ignore it.

brand relaunch is complicatedI used that language purposefully. When the new position is powerfully identified there will be a sense of risk in ignoring it. I’m not talking about a new position that threatens the prospect, but think for a moment what it means to have a position that represents the highest emotional intensity in the category?

When this emotional intensity is real and urgent it causes those that do not possess it to feel incomplete without it. There is inherent in this logic a sense of risk. A fear of risk is more descriptive of this phenomenon.

If you are successful in the brand building business, then you are a brand anthropologist and a student of human behavior. Everything that you do and every inch of space that your brand occupies must be grounded in meaning. Communication without purpose is at its best unproductive and at its worst destructive. As a result of this axiom, extraneous messaging in defense of a brand must be eliminated.

relaunchKnowing what we do about human behavior we all recognize that FEAR is the strongest human motivator. I’m not talking about bone chilling fear here just the understood consequence of ignorance on the part of the prospect (the ignoring of your brand).

It may be a simple a fear as being left out or not being in the know, but make no mistake about it— when positioning your brand for relaunch you need the target audience to fill in the blank. They need to implicitly understand the fear without your brand having to say it.

Brand Relaunch requires an outside-in focus

What this means is that your focus needs to be more on the beliefs, precepts, needs and wants of the prospect rather than the needs and wants of current customers. I’m not suggesting that you ignore current customers but you may enjoy greater flexibility in message with your current customers than believed.

brand relaunch is a puzzleChanging human behavior is not an easy task. That truth works both ways. It is difficult to dismiss a current customer through messaging alone. At some point, the brand would have to disappoint them in performance to actually lose them.

I would hope and fully expect, by the way, that you will find the new emotional brand promise to be resonant with current customers as well. But a focus on existing customers can be the kiss of death. A dance that ends in failure.

Often current customers are so wedded to your current brand message that they lack the ability to see outside of their own box. Their own subjective opinion is so overwhelming that any clarity they may possess will be clouded by experience. Don’t worry about this as we have ways to test the risks among current customers that ensure that you have NOT thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

What needs to change?

So ask yourself, what does the prospect need to know to change their mind and choose differently?

brand relaunch connectionsWe already discussed that they need to SEE that something has changed in your brand. At a quick glance they MUST understand that the promise of the brand (the who it is for) is all about them personally.

Should your old logotype change? Probably. I might even say almost certainly. I know we hesitate to change logos because, if your brand involves a service or destination, it will require expensive signage changes. ROI is important here. But what is the cost of doing nothing?

What is the cost of doing it on the cheap? The price of shortchanging your brand relaunch is almost certainly failure.

Do you expect a prospect to suddenly notice you and change preference when the external veneer of your brand has not changed? A new tagline is not enough to grant a new position. More often than not the prospect will not get far enough into your brand message to read it.

They have already decided that your brand is not important for them. You need to use every equity in your quiver to change that perception. At best you want them to say to themselves “I think this is important enough to my self-description to trial the brand.” At the very least you want them to say to themselves “I overlooked this brand before and I should explore it a bit more deeply.”

Change the Logo

Most logos that I see are just cute pretty pictures. They were designed to be about identity and not a persuasive brand. As such, they are usually about the brand itself. That ship has sailed.

logo in a brand relaunchToday we understand that the logo should work harder than that. It should symbolically reflect the brand strategy and position. They should see that logo and mark and understand the full brand promise.

It needs to be designed towards the strategy. If you are relaunching your brand or rebranding— odds are your mark either reflects your corporate identity OR an outdated prospect message. Either way it needs to go.

One of the most difficult paths to navigate is how to know what elements should stay or go. Color palette? Font? Imagery? Style? What do we need to reinforce and what NEEDS to change. Once again, we can find the answers to this in the market research conducted to identify the strategy.

The emotional brand theme should be locked with the new logo. The new logotype should never be seen without the brand strategic theme locked to it.

We call this the logo lock-up. You need to make sure that the brand is absolutely identified with the new highest emotional space. Leaving the logo to hang without the benefit of a theme is a waste of brand energy.

Make them FEEL as well as SEE

make them Feel a brand relaunchThe secret to brand relaunch success can be found in the intensity of its emotional importance. Emotional responses control purchase and loyalty permissions.

So it is important that the prospect not only SEE a change but FEEL it deeply. The form and substance of the relaunched brand needs to solute this emotional fiber. Keeping it simple. Making it clear.

Making it single-minded and having all meta messages in-line with the emotional position is a great predictor of success. Here are a list of brand relaunch caveats to avoid:

  1. Is your new brand cluttered?
  2. Are you trying to say too many things?
  3. Is the brand diluted through heritage messaging?
  4. Are the brand’s politics holding back the change?
  5. Has not enough symbolism changed?
  6. Is the theme just ad speak (is it too clever and sounds like an advertising tagline)?

When is the time right to relaunch your brand?

With the risk of stating the obvious, if you are reading this article then the writing might already be on the wall. If you are asking the question at all then the efficacy of the rebranding and relaunching effort should be explored. Great market brand relaunch rebranding companiesresearch is the place to start.

You can find definitive answers to these questions. I’m not being self-serving here when I tell you that all research is not equal and you need to trust such an important task to folks who know how to do it.

I say this because I firmly believe the price of clarity is the risk of offence. We know how to do this and most of our competitors don’t.


Predict the success of marketing. A Marketing Metrics

Predict the success of marketing. Predicting that influence on brand strategy

The Human Model | Motivators | Challenges | Desire | Familiarity | Leadership | Affirmation | Scope | Comfort | Change | Community | Summary

By Tom Dougherty

Introduction into the art of how to predict the success of marketing

The purpose for all messaging and communications is to have influence on the audience and to persuade it to act. However, getting your message to the proper audience in today’s economic climate is no longer an issue of choosing among the possibilities. Instead, it has become solely an issue of affordability. There is a need to predict the success of marketing messages. In retrospect, many experts have looked at the success of past advertising campaigns but hindsight is not valuable.

predict the success of marketing
A model to predict behavior

Companies do what they “need” to do, instead of what they “want” to do. How do you measure effectiveness and ensure that you win? These questions can be predicted if not measured. We needed a comprehensive model to predict the success of marketing so we created this marketing metrics. For that “need” to be effective, it must be the most meaningful in the market – and it must resonate considering the current situation, such as an economic climate that has changed the mindsets of consumers.

The unwillingness to address those needs and go with the same tired approach – messaging that’s nearly identical to what was delivered years ago and follows the tired reach-frequency format so many misguided marketers follow – produces a predictable, losing formula. After all, in changing times, there will still be winners and there will still be losers.  The difference between the two is one understands the nature of human beings and the other doesn’t.

If you seek to understand something, it always makes sense to model it. The science of physics has been modeling natural laws for centuries. The marketing metrics model presented here is a formula that takes into account the emotional intensities of the primary human motivators within any changing situation, economic or otherwise, to formulate messages that will resonate most strongly with audiences, and predict the success of marketing messages. With this marketing metrics model, you will learn to recognize the elements and, if form follows function, you will be able to understand how to influence and change the model. (Read how precepts control behavior)

The Comprehensive Model of Persuasive Communications for marketing and branding. How to predict the success of marketing A New Human Model for Persuasive Communications

to predict the success of marketing is the goal of any strategist and marketing matrix
How well will our marketing messages resonate

Human behavior can be modeled, as you will see, and this marketing metrics model in particular models the behavioral elements of persuasion. Let’s start by asking ourselves, what do we notice? How do we decide what is important and what we remember? When we examine the answers to those questions, we begin to re-think the waste inherent in current marketing. Looking at the elements of human behavior is quite different from modeling a communication process like reach and frequency. For this new model to be usable, it needs to act as a predictor of human behavior and, by definition, should be able to explain past communication successes and failures.

What Human Beings Notice Most

Human beings are egocentric. We cannot get out of our own way and see almost everything through the filter of self. As a result of this filter, what the receiver considers most when confronted with messages is not so much “what’s in it for me” (which is the traditional model of benefits and features) but rather “am I in it”? Human beings notice ideas and products that, in some way, reflect themselves. They remember products and ideas that help them accomplish their major goal of simply becoming themselves. That is why, if a doctor tells you to lose weight because of the onset of diabetes, we notice and pay attention to messages about weight loss — a message we might have ignored the day before. (Another example: Think of how many For Sale signs you saw when you were buying a house. Then think about how, amazingly, they seemed to disappear once you bought the house.)

The New Marketing Metrics Model to Predict the Success of Marketing and Marketing Messages

Imagine this: You are driving down the highway and you see a billboard that featured your photograph. Would you notice it, regardless of message? Absolutely. There is a communications process that empowers every message to become exactly that effective. It requires an anthropologist’s skill at understanding and modeling human behaviors and motivations. Once that has been uncovered, you would need to include that learning in the message itself. It would be nearly as effective – and in a similar way – as starting every message with the customer’s name and image. Through experience and empirical and scientific research, the human motivators have been effectively modeled here and the basic elements are cross-cultural, so personal impression can be noticed and acted upon. The basic queries in this marketing metrics remain constant regardless of culture or national origin. They are global. Understanding the eight elementary human motivators propels your message to the forefront and ensures it is remembered.

The Unquenchable Thirst for Meaning

Human beings, regardless of culture, seek meaning in all of their actions. (Consider this: We even talk to our dogs, expecting them to give reasons for the things they do.) This represents an opportunity for those communicators who understand this tremendous thirst for meaning. This means that the words we choose to create meaning to our messages and our brand is extraordinarily important. It means that everyone who is exposed to your offering or the communication of that offering sees this meaning and, in fact, will use the words you provide to them. This is a double-edged sword. If you get the meaning wrong, those with whom you are communicating will insert meaning that is not important or motivating to them and, therefore, fail to inspire them to your ideas, services, products or brands.

The Prime Motivators in the Marketing Metrics

The eight primary human motivators form the basics of self-identification and account for a human’s own sense of self — given that the fundamental needs for sustenance, shelter and health are sated. By addressing each of these in your message, you ensure that everyone who is exposed to your message (reach) will notice the message.

1. Affirmation 2. Leadership 3. Familiarity 4. Comfort 5. Change 6. Community 7. Desire 8. Scope

These eight prime motivators are the filters through which all messages are received, accepted, ignored or rejected. The more they reflect the “self-settings” of the recipient, the more likely they are to be acted upon.

Good Times vs. Tough Times and Times of Change

In creating this model, we looked at each of the eight prime motivators needed to predict the success of marketing messages and measured the differences between cultural norms in both good and tough economic times because most companies and brands in the U.S. have become handicapped by this situation. The marketing metrics model will demonstrate the differences in these motivators, predict success and explain failure. We are able to recognize the intensities of each motivator in relation to the situation as well as the rate with which they change during changing situations. In this case, that situation is economic: Going from “good times” to the “tough times” of today. The motivators below are listed in order of intensity during good times and tough times. Also, the way in which each motivator is defined changes slightly, depending on overall circumstances. It is those nuances that often make the difference between a winning message in the context of the times and a losing one. Each motivator has been given an intensity measurement, a ranking on a 10-point scale based on the particular situation. In addition to differing definitions, the rate of change for the intensity of a human motivator from one situation to another is referred to as Acceleration, and those rates are measured on a 10-point scale.

Tough Times
Good Times
1. Comfort 1. Desire
2. Affirmation 2. Familiarity
3. Familiarity 3. Leadership
4. Community 4. Affirmation
5. Change 5. Scope
6. Desire 6. Comfort
7. Scope 7. Change
8. Leadership 8. Community

Desire(Good Times intensity 6.0 — Tough Times intensity 6.5 — Acceleration 8.0)

In good times, the most important human motivator is Desire. It derives its power from its relationship with the other motivators. Simply taking into account the desires of the target audience that you seek to influence is not nearly enough to promise success. It is simply a starting point. A traditional usage and attitudinal study (U&A Study) can discover what people need or want and the results are then used to create messaging that fulfills those desires. However, there is a more powerful means to understand and use this dynamic — one that will make it useful to you as a predictor of success and as a tool to understand past successes or failures in the marketing metrics.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, the fulfillment of desires is defined as “What I Want.” In tough times, it is defined as “What I Need.” Comparing the relative importance of each definition in good or tough times demonstrates why the benefit you offered in relative good times will not resonate as important in tough times. As a general rule, all intensities are increased in tough times and each of the prime motivators is realized as more important. But understanding the nuances is critical in the marketing metrics because it’s what makes the difference between surviving in tough times. In this case, that means your message must be about “need,” not “want.”     Think of it this way: In tough times, you “need” products to simply do their job. In good times, you “want” something more. In tough times, we simply need coffee, so you accept the one at the grocery store. In good times, you want Starbucks. And thus, you have a predictor of what Starbucks is currently going through unless they adapt their communications to the particular nuance.

Familiarity (Good Times intensity 5.0 — Tough Times intensity 7.0 — Acceleration of 6.40)

All communicators understand how important familiarity is to any idea, product, or service because if someone is unfamiliar with that product or service they are less likely to adopt it as a new behavior. Familiarity is also linked to top-of-mind awareness in the marketing metrics but even that is misunderstood. It is not so much about the familiarity of the brand or product, but what is it about that brand or product that makes it feels familiar and at ease.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, the fulfillment of familiarity is defined as “What is Easy.” In tough times, it is defined as “What is Safest.” That is, in good times, consumers are looking to what makes things easy for them, even if its outcome may have risks. In tough times, risk is less accepted. Safe feels familiar to audiences now because it offers a refuge that may herald back to nostalgia.

Seeking the Familiar - predict the success of marketing

For example, when you are thirsty in good times, you might choose what is “easy.” That is, we might grab what is most available. In tough times, we seek “safest,” meaning we might inconvenience ourselves and go somewhere else for something that is healthier or cheaper.

Leadership (Good Times intensity 4.0 — Tough Times intensity 5.0 — Acceleration of 7.0)

When we think about leadership as a human motivator in the marketing metrics we are not talking about taking the lead on something as we might in geopolitical terms. We are talking about leadership in terms of responsibility — meaning, “Who takes the responsibility for this action?” It is an internal question asked by everyone before they take any action.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, from the point of view of the target audience, the fulfillment of Leadership is defined as “My Responsibility” (the consumer) and in tough times it is defined as “Your Responsibility” (the brand). In good times, audiences are more than happy to assume the responsibility because the risks are fewer. Once the element of risk has become more threatening, however, audiences want the responsibility to fall to the experts (or communicator of the message).

Leadership in good and tough times - predict the success of marketing

As strange at it may sound, according to the marketing metrics, we listen to experts more in tough times.  Even if they were the ones who let us down in good times. That’s because the responsibility has shifted. Choice, as we will examine more closely in Scope, becomes less of a motivator.

Affirmation (Good Times intensity 3.0 — Tough Times intensity 7.0 — Acceleration of 6.99)

One of the ways human beings seek meaning is by looking for affirmation in their choices. Consumers wish to make sure that all of their actions are somehow affirmed as “being correct.” As a primary human motivator – regardless of culture, product and category – everyone that your brand or marketing message contacts are seeking this sense of affirmation and certainty.

predict the success of marketing

Without this value in the marketing metrics, target audiences gravitate towards inaction: A refusal to make a choice or fall back into a habit of what “I have always done.” This is a surefire way to assure continued market dominance by the category leader. It means that if we do not provide our audiences with a sense of affirmation, little or no change will take place in the marketplace and the market leader will continue to benefit from this inaction.

Seeking Correctness - predict the success of marketing

In good times, the fulfillment of Affirmation is defined as making the Best Choice and in tough times it is defined as making the Right Choice. For example, in good times, we will look for the best choice in automobiles, something that is top of the line or sporty fits us best. In tough times, we look for those things that are right, such as a hybrid or something more economical. The world, in a way, has determined that it’s right. Talking about the choices consumers make in terms of affirming they have made the right choice makes your messages more meaningful in a difficult economic climate.

Scope (Good Times intensity 3.0 — Tough Times intensity 5.0 — Acceleration 7.75)

Scope is one the most complex of the human motivators in the marketing metrics. When we consider Scope, we see it in terms of how large audiences want their considered set to be. This is related to the other motivators, such as leadership or the transfer of the responsibility of the decision to others. What we seek to understand in looking at scope is what gives the customer or prospect permission to include the scope of either your product or category into their consideration.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, the fulfillment of Scope is defined as having many choices and in tough times it is defined as having precision and more focus. In good times, audiences seek a wide scope, with lots of choices. In tough times, we are looking for “right,” so more focus is needed. Our considered set is smaller and we often give expert advice more weight. This, for example, is why Borders (which is all about choice) found it difficult to survive in a difficult economic climate.

Defining Scope - predict the success of marketing

Comfort (Good Times intensity 2.0 — Tough Times intensity 9.0 — Acceleration 9.18)

Human beings seek comfort no matter the situation, but the intensity surrounding it is much stronger depending on that situation.

predict the success of marketing

According to the marketing metrics, in good times, Comfort is simply accepted as the norm. In tough times, it is actively sought. In good times, most of us feel that we already have comfort so a comfort message is relatively meaningless. In tough times, however, comfort is no longer a given. Therefore, we seek it and a comfort promise – instead of achieving, which has risks – resonates. Note the differences in intensities with this motivator within the two situations. It is only a 2.0 on a 10-point scale in good times. In tough times, it’s a 9.0 with one of the highest rates of acceleration among all the motivators.

Comfort in the ability to predict the success of marketing

Change (Good Times intensity 1.5 — Tough Times intensity 7.0 — Acceleration of 6.99)

The longing for human beings to be in control is a prime motivator. It is within the dynamic of change in the marketing metrics that the need for control becomes most evident. When we think about change as a key persuasive human motivator, we actually think about it as a barrier than as an attraction. The changing situation determines its intensity.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, the resistance to Change is simply uncomfortable and in tough times it is outright feared. Therefore, in tough times, change messages should be softened, otherwise they will feel to audiences like a loss of control.

Perception of change -predict the success of marketing

Community (Good Times intensity 1.0 — Tough Times intensity 7.0 — Acceleration 9.31)

Community in the marketing metrics, refers to the acceptance of the community that affirms our existence and is related to Affirmation. It represents the wish of all human beings to be part of an affirmed group. Very few people are capable of acting as completely independent individuals. Therefore, for the vast majority of people we wish to influence, we must understand the importance of community and the acceptance that community offers.

predict the success of marketing

In good times, the fulfillment of Community is simply about the individual and in tough times it is satisfied through the safety of numbers. In good times, you can risk going it alone – being a leader, a rebel, etc. – because there is less at stake. In tough times, there is too much at risk in going it alone, so you seek safety in a community or being a part of a group.

Seeking Community - predict the success of marketing

Maketing Metrics Summary

Companies and their brands have reached the point in which their communications must change in order to survive in such a changing market. The marketing metrics of the Comprehensive Model for Persuasive Human Communications allows them to alter their messaging so that it becomes more meaningful in context. If nobody adapts to the current context, the default choice will always be the market leader. But the situation actually presents an opportunity for those chasing the market leader (as well as for the market leaders themselves) that reaches target audiences so deeply it causes action. How the primary human motivators are addressed will become the difference between who survives and who doesn’t.

Definitions COMPREHENSIVE MODEL FOR PERSUASIVE HUMAN COMMUNICATIONS: A mathematical model that measures the impact changing conditions have on emotional intensities of primary human motivators. The model can be used to predict and formulate messages for brands that will resonate most strongly with target audiences.

INTENSITIES: The relative strength of human motivators expressed as a ranking on a 10-point scale based on the particular attributes examined by the model. ACCELERATION: The rate of change for the intensity of a human motivator from one state to another, measured on a 10-point scale.

VALUE OF MESSAGE CHANGE: A mathematical representation using intensity and acceleration to predict the value in terms of its overall impact on each motivator.


Download a Power Point Presentation of motivational-Cues and how to predict the success of marketing messages here.pptx
Download a PowerPoint presentation of motivational-Cues and how to predict the success of marketing messages on the link below

Download a Power Point Presentation of motivational-Cues and how to predict the success of marketing messages here.pptx

How to predict the success of marketing messages as a PDF may be downloaded here.

Analyzing Brand Position for Opportunity

A process for analyzing brand position

Image of the road when analyzing brand position

When looking at a category when you are developing a brand position and message to steal market share it is of vital importance that you develop models for assessing opportunity. The starting point is always analyzing brand position. This is how we begin every rebranding and branding project.

In looking for market opportunity you must understand the positions claimed by the competitors in that category. Most brand positioning mistakes are made because the brand themselves refuse to see the market dispassionately. If you expect to find opportunity you must be challenging to your own assertions.

Analyzing Brand Position is it sales or marketing?
Your arguments must not be sales arguments

Analyzing Brand Position starts with brand arguments
Create a series of arguments








You need to define the market by what IS not by what you hope it will be.

Chart analyzing brand arguments
Create as many that make sense

More often than not, competitors claim very similar values. This is because most marketers see the value in terms of the product and benefits. So if you are selling TV sets, you see the category in terms of price, screen size, built in applications, refresh rate, and 3D or 2D. As a result, most brands will occupy space, if not directly upon the space of the competition, directly adjacent to the competitive space.

Analyzing Brand Position

Think about this as an exercise in brand positioning. Think about it as if it were a real estate transaction. Generally speaking two like homes, one on an acre of land and one on a 50×50 lot will have different value, all else being equal. The reason for this value difference is because of space between the home and the neighbor. The same is true of brand positions. The more space between your brand and the competitors the better. Of course, the space you occupy must also be valued by the prospect.

Questions to Ask Yourself when Analyzing Brand Position

We start the process by looking at every competitor

  1. What do they claim?
  2. Who do they say they are for?
  3. Why do they claim to represent what they claim?
  4. How do they prove the claim?
  5. What do they say about themselves?
  6. How do they represent their claim (humor, directness etc.)?

We record these claims as a series of line graphs. It is important, when graphing a brand or marketing claim, to be sure that the opposite claim is still aspirational. Look for a descriptor that identifies an opposite value as important. If you cannot find an opposite claim then it is a sales argument and not a marketing or brand argument. A sales person may be able to claim best because sales, as a function, are personal. But a brand argument must be universally fair. A real brand argument is defensible on both sides of the equation.

We Build a Graph of the Market Space and Build a Working 2D Model

Chart Analyzing brand arguments in 2 Dimensions
An example of the TV manufacturer category

When analyzing brand position we construct a series of 2D graphs comparing the claims and placing the competitors in the quadrant that they most closely claim as their own. There will be many of these charts and choosing the correct one requires experience. The winner will be clearly delineated and represent the values held in highest intensity by those the brand needs to influence. Figuring this out is one of the reasons we always conduct projectable market research. We need to KNOW what the prospect values. Guesswork is for others.

When Analyzing Brand Position we add a 3D Axis to Make it Real

3D Model of a marketThen we work with our behavioral modeling to identify the highest emotional intensity that drives the prospect to switch or choose. This represents our emotional Brand Line. It dissects the 2D graph and creates a three dimensional representation of the market. Positioning the brand becomes clearer in a 3D representation of the market because the prospect’s highest emotional intensity is accounted for.

This is a difficult and challenging process. However, it begins to shed light on the opportunity in the category and provides the reason to rebrand as a reflection of that opportunity.3D Graph with emotional brand

Creating the Brand

From this point on when analyzing brand position, the design and symbols of that brand perspective needs to be inculcated in everything the brand does or claims. It provides the basis for your brand charter and provides the marketing momentum to direct advertising and communication.

From this position the logo should represent that singular idea. Remember that the logo is about the brand not the company’s corporate identity. This is a transformational moment for brands out of the old school. This new brand is about persuasion and switching triggers and should also be reflected in your brand theme line. The theme line is a spoken form of the logo. It provides clarity, should refuse to be clever and represents the single most important thing you can say about the brand that causes a change to take place in the target audience.

by Tom Dougherty


Read more on brand positioning here

Brand Positioning Strategy

Make your brand positioning persuasive