Telecom Branding - Growing market shareBy Tom Dougherty
How to steal market share in telecom
Telecom branding is difficult, especially when you need to grow market share. But how to accomplish it is interesting and telling in today’s competitive telecom branding climate. Let’s start with the basics. All effective telecom branding has as its root a strong strategic message.
Advertising must convey a sense of market positioning. Also, it must reinforce the telecom brand, identify a target audience and speak to it in terms of a brand benefit. That’s how the telecom brand is great and has a chance at stealing share.
Make sure the correct message read or seen by the correct consumer. If every agency actually owns these abilities and telecom experience (and all do at some time or other), why choose one over another? If every agency can consistently deliver a great creative execution, why do some telecommunications campaigns fail to produce the desired share-stealing and increases in market share?
The answer to telecom branding
Let’s consider research on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the training of people suffering from the learning disorder, dyslexia.
Telecoms test for “day-after recall.” That is, looking for how well a core telecom marketing message is remembered some time after viewing. It is asking for recall. Now, recall differs from remembering because it is not a cognitive process. But recall happens without thinking. On the other hand, memory requires thinking. For example, if I ask, “What comes to mind when I say Coca-Cola?” your answer might be “soda,” “The Real Thing,” “Pepsi,” or value judgments like “like it” or “never drink it.”
Researchers mark down these statements, record and tabulate them. Also, researchers evaluate those statements against the strategy to see if the advertising achieved what it was intended to achieve. This is all well and good. However, there is one problem. Telecommunications advertisers overlook just exactly what is recalled and focus on what is remembered.
No matter what you might remember about Coke, the first non-cognitive flash of memory was a visual picture of the product itself. A quick vision of the familiar red can or the trademark bottle are often recalled. Next, other memories are retrieved cognitively and added to that flash memory.
Great telecom branding and advertising makes the telecommunications brand association visual. In special education, teachers have used the association learning method with great effect. That is, they present pictures as a means of organizing thoughts, knowledge, and memories to compensate for the disability. As it turns out, this is exactly how we all learn. (Read a market study on the telecom industry here)
How we learn
Human beings learn by associating. A new thought, idea, or image links to what they already know. Traditional memory is always linear. If you can make an association with something you already know, you can use that “picture” to help you recall the new information. But it turns out that what we actually recall is the association and not the memory itself.
We can use our recall to trigger a memory, but we need to tie the image it invokes to what it is we are recalling. Association turns out to be similar to a spreadsheet. Remembering what is in box A-1 It is not necessary. Instead, you just need to know to look into box A-1 to find it.
Flash memory recall is your mind retrieving an image from a location, rather than remembering a particular meaning. It follows that all great (effective) telecom branding and advertising is visual in nature. However, this does not mean that great print advertising cannot be all copy.
Rather, copy must create a visual image in your head in the same way that great radio does. The image needs to be tied into an existing association so that the mind can find it again.
In telecom branding and advertising, always ask yourself if the TOTALITY of the telecom ad (or commercial) elicits an emotional photograph in your head. Brand messages are recalled if the message is right, the target audience is identified, and the positioning and benefit are compelling enough. It becomes part of the consumer’s identity and life. It is that simple.