In a BBC video production titled The Secrets of Superbrands, one British host examines large food and beverage companies that he describes as glo-local, or so global that they have become local brands. These superbrands include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Red Bull. Throughout the video, the host meets with different branding and marketing experts to help better explain key concepts of why and how these brands became the superbrands that they are today.
One thing from the video that really stood out to me was research has proven that certain brands are seen as people in the minds of human beings. Brands have taken on such personalities and have become such an integral part of the lives of many people that people now recognize them as family or friends in the frontal cortex of their brains. Interestingly, this personification of brands was not developed today; it has been around for centuries, as mentioned by Coca-Cola in the video.
An idea from this video that I want to apply to branding assignments and projects in the future is the focus on serving individual communities. Whether you’re McDonald’s or a mom and pop shop, it is important that the products and services you provide your customers with align with your customer’s values. A great example of this was described in the video as McDonald’s having a different menu in every country.
Lastly, a question about the power of superbrands that is still circling in my mind is where will the line exist between a brand as a brand and a brand as a person in the future. If consumers are associating brands with friends and family in today’s time, how will brands evolve in the future? Will there always be this marketer’s problem of making a brand more than a brand? Will hedonic values change our biological physiologies so much that we end up putting crap into our bodies but believing we are eating and drinking what is good for us? I believe every brand has a right to have a personality, but what if future generations will not be able to distinguish between a marketing message and a good or bad product?
What is your take on the evolution of brands as personalities? Do you believe brands are as familiar to us as people?Comment below and follow my blog next week for the latest discussion in marketing and consumer behavior!