Andrea Misir on May 13th 2011
When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with drinking only Pepsi. I didn’t care if most people liked Coke. I didn’t care if Coke was more fizzy (I loved fizz when I was a kid.) I would only drink Pepsi. If someone dared to give me Coke, I would push the drink away. If I had a cup of soda thinking that it was Pepsi but it ended up being Coke, I would spit it out. Yes, I was addicted to Pepsi for no apparent reason other than the fact that it was Pepsi. My former addiction to Pepsi is a classic case of fierce brand loyalty. However, I took it a step further to the point where I was, not brainwashed, but “brandwashed.” This phenomenon occurs when a person is fiercely dedicated to the brand despite the fact that there are so many products or services out there that are superior, or in some cases almost identical, but the person could care less about them.
How on earth do brands get that pervasive? And why do we care so much about brands in the first place? Are we just inherently drawn to the allure that we just don’t think? Or do the brand builders hold much more cards than we thought and we have no choice but to fear them?
Based on the insights that I have acquired from one of the best classes I’ve ever taken during my four years as a college students, a brand is nothing more than an intricate abstraction. It has life because we give it life. And like all life, it has many dimensions that add to the overall image. The views that we have of it as a product/service, symbol, person, and the organization it represents converge into this singular identity that, if pervasive enough, becomes intertwined in the fabric of our culture.
Brands speak to a distinct audience. Brands are created to meet their needs, to have their back, and even to supplement their personalities. So the punchline of all of this is, brands are so multidimensional because we made them that way. As a marketer, it is of the utmost importance to create a distinct name and image in the minds of consumers that is different and better from what is out there. As a consumer, it is up to us to look past the fancy name, advertisements, and whatever hype is surrounding the brand and discover exactly what it can offer us.