Perspective: The antidote to brand myopia

By Robert Passikoff

As content proliferates on the web, the logic behind launching an e-zine could be open to question. No problem. As we make our living doing research-based consulting, we operate on a simple principle. To paraphrase Michael Douglas’ money moment in “Wall Street,” questions are good.

So, here are some questions we asked ourselves. Questions that led us to create an e-zine, and actually gave us its title.

Why is it that the good folks in brand marketing and research departments know so much about who their customers are, yet so little about why they really chose to be their customers?

Why is it that as media platforms evolve at the most rapid pace in history, so many brands are going in the way-back machine when it comes to measuring their effectiveness, such as using awareness metrics (disguised at “time lapse” or other science-sounding names) that have been proven decades ago to be a highly insufficient model for measuring brand engagement?

And, above all, why is it that so many “emotional” metrics are sold in and relied on by brands when the questions used either address the rational mind, which has been proven time and time again to be an unreliable translator of emotional reality, or are so image-based they require researcher interpretation? At a time when truly understanding the emotion driving brand decisions has never been a greater imperative?

Myopia happens when brands lose perspective. It’s easy to do, even for very smart people, when you spend day after day talking about one subject. But it’s critical that it stop, because things are moving too fast, and too much is at stake, to not insist that every tool at a brand’s disposal aid the brand engagement that drives profits.

This first issue takes on the topic of digital. At the center is what we believe to be the evolution of this subject–the imperative of examining how humans engage with digital communication platforms in a brand’s category and connecting that to how they engage with the category itself. In short, to insist digital media has strategic relevance.

This issue will present a point of view from marketing-great, Jack Trout, including his assertion that brand conversations are impossible. We have included a take on mobile from across the pond, written by Barry Jones. And we hope our case study and analysis incite some good debate on how the highly digital–Higitals–see the world.

That’s why we are here. To provoke. To present different viewpoints. To shine a light into the dark corners of what’s not being talked about above a whisper. And, to our own ends as consultants, to keep it real–making sure we are always challenging ourselves, so we don’t define every problem as a nail because we happen to have this very shiny hammer.

About the author

Robert Passikoff, Brand Key’s founder and president, is a sought-after speaker and thought leader on engagement and loyalty. He has pioneered work in the area of loyalty and engagement, creating the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the Brandweek Loyalty Leaders List, the Sports Fan Loyalty Index, and the Women’s Wear Daily Fashion Brand Engagement Index. His first best-selling book, Predicting Market Success, provided marketers with a 21st century perspective on predictive loyalty metrics, and his newest book The Certainty Principle: How to Guarantee Brand Profits in the Consumer Engagement Marketplace examines a predictive approach to Integrated Marketing ROI.

Brand Keys is a brand research consultancy specializing in predictive consumer behavioural brand equity, loyalty, and engagement metrics. ]Brand Keys is headquartered in New York, NY and has offices in Dublin, Dubai, London, Madrid, Sydney, and Tokyo.

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