Why does your brand deserve to be on the market?
As we see it, a brand is more than just a product with a uniform appearance and a logo. A brand is a psychological phenomenon. This is because successful brands manage to build a connection to their customers that goes beyond the benefits – be they rational or emotional. In essence, it is always about defining a shared “why” – the Geisteshaltung that connects brand and consumer. To find this Geisteshaltung and position brands better, we use a method based on “subjective theory”:Consumer Connection.
4 steps to find the Geisteshaltung
Consumer Connection is an established method to find the shared Geisteshaltung that connects brand and consumers. Each step has a clearly defined goal, the actual execution can be adapted to the specific task.
1. Narrow down the emotional playing field
Successful brands have an emotional component. This is why it is important to know exactly which values and emotions are associated with a brand or category. There are different methods to determine the relevant values and emotions. Ideally, the consumer connection process starts with an emotional territory analysis. Emotional Territories is a quantitative tool that uses a specially developed algorithm to determine an “emotional map” of your brand or category from a sample of 1,000 test subjects. This map can be used to determine both the status of the brand/category and the target status. As result and starting point for the next step you get 3-4 so-called Wertefelder, which define the brand / category.
2. Develop stimulus material
During the Consumer Connections process, we talk to consumers. This requires stimulus material that meets certain criteria:
- It must be suitable to start a real discussion, in the course of which also things are discussed, about which some people perhaps do not speak quite so naturally.
- It must be able to address content that takes place on a more subconscious level
- In case of doubt, it should be equally suitable for different target groups – for international brands even for different cultures.
For that reason we work with so-called “visual analogies”. These are images created by art directors, artists and other visual thinking people. They are characterized by partly extreme uniqueness and therefore have a very high potential for discussion.
The “smartphone teddy bear” as an example of stimulus material we used to explore the Geisteshaltung on the subject of “mobile Internet
Each of the three to 4 Wertefelder we create 10-20 of such visual analogies. The high number ensures that possible misinterpretations are compensated.
In some cases – for example, when the consumer phase does not take place in workshops but in telephone interviews – the visual analogies can be replaced by provocative headlines.
3. Analyze target groups
At the core of the Consumer Connection process is the work with consumers. This usually takes place in the form of intensive workshops. We work through the stimulus material with different sub-target groups and provoke a very large number of qualitative statements around the topic by asking specific questions.
In the workshop, people talk about their relationship with the brand, their motivation, desires, fears, hopes – in short: about their entire soul life in relation to the brand. Depending on the number of sub-target groups, we will receive more than 1,000 statements that serve as the basis for the next step of Consumer Connection.
4. Develop Geisteshaltung
In the now following analysis phase, we decompose the statements of the test persons into so-called “semantic basic units”. These are the smallest content elements of the respective statements. For the development of the Geisteshaltung we use a variant of the structure-lay technique. The basic units are sorted into different groups according to their affiliation and examined for their structure. The groups are combined into metagroups. Thus a whole hierarchy of levels of meaning is formed with an ever increasing degree of condensation. At the end there is a sentence, a notion, which has been influenced to a certain extent by every statement made and combines all the information of the levels below – the Geisteshaltung.
Experience on any scale
Consumer Connection is versatile and can be scaled to almost any size, depending on the task. From the positioning of a start-up to the reorientation of an internationally operating traditional brand, everything is possible. Most extreme example: Via Geisteshaltung evena colonoscopy can become an attractive brand.