W H Y CU LTU R EI K I G S NI BR AN DI G : N NA SH O W CASEO F P E CE TI N S R P OSH AP I G BE AVI U R N H O MICHAEL ASH 2012/13
Cultureis like candy–it’s colourful, sweet andseperates us from the rest.
Culture Wins FriendsWhen Apple opened up its doors in Shanghai it wasnot quite sure how the public would react. After all,every Apple product discretely states, “Designed inCalifornia, Made in China.” In order to alleviate anypotential animosity, the company had free T-shirtsproduced with the slogan, “Designed in California,Made for China” The result? Apple’s continousgestures of respect in China have helped create ageloyal brand following and some of the highest retailattendance rates in the world.
Culture trumps LogicIn the 1970s many Canadian firehalls started tobrand their emergency trucks as lime-green,because research had shown the colour to bemore visible at night than red.The result? Less cars stopped for the cars.Why? Because to many Canadian drivers, redequaled emergency on a subconsious level,while green meant “go.” Always consider thisstory if you’re looking to have your productstand out in a crowded shelf. Sometimesculture contradicts logic.
Culture is the Real Thing.Considered to be the biggest error in Coke-Cola’s history, thebirth of “New Coke” in 1985 created unprecedented outragefrom the public. Not necessarily because of the new taste, butbecause of the change in brand perception. More than acentury of advertising had positioned Coke as a way of life inNorth America and someone just replaced it with a “New” one,overnight. Needless to say the company realised the originalCokeCo was “the real thing” and never needed to be tamperedwith. Well not exactly, as you’ll see in the next slide.
Culture Repeats Itself.On December 1, 2011 Coca-Cola announced itwould decrease its production of a new holidaycan, which featured regular Coke, after a legion ofloyal customers flooded the web with complaints.In the end, Coke had no choice but to promisemore signature red cans in time for the holidays.Amongst the numerous complaints, many patronsthought they had purchased the wrong Coke. Asthin Diet Coke. Can you say “déjà vu?”
Culture is BRANDING .Whether you like it or not, our artistic preferencesprovide insight into some of our deepest culturalattitudes. Leveraging this knowledge can help yourcompany develop strategic visuals, which formstronger emotional bonds with your customers.Tim Hortons for example, positions itself as“unpretentious,” and around Christmas time itscoffee cups are adorned with Norman Rockwellstyle graphics. These visuals suggest the companybelieves in wholesome gatherings. Furthermore, itwould suggest Tims customers enjoy what PierreBourdieu called the “popular aesthetic.”Starbucks on the other hand celebrates the season In an age of segmentation and digital saturation, it’swith dynamic/abstract illustrations, which align the more important than ever to provide your customerscompany with cosmopolitan values – appreciation with something that’s “familiar.”for Tchaikovsky Nutcracker suite and etc. Bourdieuwould have classified this preference under the“aesthetic disposition.”
TALL RECAPLet’s face it, ignoring culture is like loving an empty canvas. Whenyour customers take a sip of your coffee or watch a green fire truckpass by, they shouldn’t spend too much time decoding yourmessage. We know from countless studies that branding is a dealbreaker when it comes to snap judgements. “Culture” can be usefulin shaving nanoseconds from anyone’s psyche and that’s whyculture is king in branding!
Thanks for reading. Happy 2013!Disclaimer: Candy picture by Alexandre Dulaunoy. All other multimedia content in this document were used in conjunction with fair use, in order to illustrate a journalistic point of view. I do not take creditfor all of the images in this document as they belong to their respective creators. This document is being shared among Creative Commons for knowledge and not for monetary compensation. CC 12/13