So many pearls wait to be discovered and presented to the marketers of the world.
By Sharon Livingston, Ph.D.
THE LIVINGSTON GROUP FOR MARKETING
Londonderry, NH firstname.lastname@example.org
As I am writing this, it is September 2007. Most of the people I know who conduct or use qualitative research are booked for the next couple of months, running from city to city, country to country, via airplane, car, telephone, video conference or online. Whew! What a hectic but exciting lifestyle we have all chosen as marketing researchers. So, as you are reading this, I am hoping that you are preparing for the holidays and looking forward to a break from all the stimulating but time-intensive work you have been doing all year long.
Everyone knows there's a critical difference between Brand imagery and User imagery. A brand's personality tells a story about the product. It tells its target market what to expect. It suggests heritage, quality, flavor, status, effectiveness, attractiveness, service, value, when to use it, where to use it, how to use it, etc. Potent brands create rich pictures in the eye of the consumer.
During a recent airline flight, I sat beside an advertising account manager who told me about his involvement in a series of brainstorming sessions for a client's foundering paper-matchbook business. In the middle of one such session, the manager's mind wandered to the home gardening he'd been doing the day before. When he refocused on the meeting, he astutely linked the topic of discussion and his daydream about gardening and came up with the ingenious idea for creating seed sticks, packaged and delivered in convenient matchbooks, a product that has since become popular in England and extremely profitable for the company.