Wednesday, 31 October, 2007

Are you exploring consumers' mind?

Recently I happened to read an interesting and informative interview at person interviewed was none other than Venkatesh Kini, VP Marketing Coca Cola India. He was being asked about maintaining a loyal customer base for brand Coca Cola, given the fact that there are so many similarly flavored products the market. I found his reply to be quote-worthy. It goes like this:

“ In order to have a loyal customer base we have to make our brands relevant to our consumers in their life. Where, when, how, with whom they drink – all these aspects matter.­ We communicate our brands in the right way and make our products available at an arms reach. We aim at creating desire in the consumers' mind”.

Was he revealing the branding secrets of world's top beverages company? May be. But that's what most brands try to do.

To communicate about the product in the right way and to be on consumers mind whenever they need it. This is a tough task to achieve. Really tough when we realize the fact that a consumer's mind – a human mind – is dynamic and complex in nature. Exploring, segmenting and understanding human behavior is critical to any advertising and publicity strategy. In other words, understanding and acting upon the data on consumer behavior is key element of a good branding strategy.

exploring consumer's mind | image created by grafic7

This is where consumer psychology steps in. Who are the consumers? What are they buying? When do they buy? Where do they buy? Why did they bought the things they buy? And how exactly do they buy? These are the basic questions that this branch of psychology deals with. The market research firms practically apply this to collect various consumer specific data.

Now the question is who uses this data. Practically all those who are trying to selling something – it could be a product, a service or an idea – need this. Selling does not necessarily mean an involvement of money. It could also be just making people aware of something, making it acceptable and more readily appreciable than anything else. And that is the job of a marketing personnel.

Next comes the question how they use it. Typically, marketing involves the use of various tools like brand identity, advertisements and promotional materials, channeling them through various media and exposing it to the most appropriate public. In all these stages the market research data is extensively used. But the most important stage is when the intended message is drafted.

Precisely, the people who create the brand identity, advertisements and promotional materials require this data to be fed into their brains before embarking upon any creative mission. And these are your good old visualizers, copywriters, artists and designers. While in a big ad agency you can see people carrying out these roles separately, but in small agencies and among freelancers these roles are often played by a single person.

So finally,whenever you hire a creative service whether it be an agency or a freelancer, make sure that proper research is done and discussed before the mock ups of the design is shown to you.

(You can read the full interview of Venkatesh Kini at 'Brandspeak', )

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