Your brand may have huge aspirations, but your consumers will have the final say.
Every brand wants to live large in a consumer’s mental landscape by laying claim to the biggest brand promise possible. For instance, plenty of high-end home brands would love to “own” the kitchen. They represent categories as diverse as major appliances, cabinetry, countertops, faucets, flooring, dinnerware, cutlery, food processors—all aspiring to be king of the most important room in the home.
But is this imagined grab for mental real estate even remotely realistic? For instance, in today’s media room, can a single brand actually “own” entertainment in the consumer’s mind? You can bet that many high-end manufacturers of flat screens, surround-sound systems and even furniture think they’re competing for end-users’ hearts and minds with each other, technology companies and content providers.
So, if you can’t own the entire home or even one of the rooms, what can your brand realistically claim? My advice: don’t connect your brand to a space. Instead, own a moment. Or better yet, own an emotion.
Stand for a moment when your brand really matters. This can be powerful territory for a brand to own. It may be about elevating an ordinary time such as Monday mornings, weekends or the end of a good day. Or you may want to own a time of year—spring, lazy summer afternoons or the holidays. Or your brand could align with special events such as dinner parties, family reunions or weddings. The crucial connection: is it right for your brand and is it believable for your consumer?
Stand for an emotion your brand helps to create. Just like a fine Champagne can stand for celebration, your brand promise may boil down to a simple, universal emotion. Togetherness. Nurturing. Excitement. Sensuality. Laughter. Appreciation. Why limit your brand to a time of day, when an emotion gives endless opportunities for consumers to connect with you? Just avoid emotional territory that is too big for one brand, such as “love.” (Good luck owning that!)
The more specific and evocative your emotional connection, the more likely you’ll be able to link your brand in meaningful ways.