Building Brand Assets

with
Jenni Romaniuk

You can also watch this interview on my YouTube channel

Table of Contents

  1. Strategy
  2. Measurement
  3. Implementation

*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.

Jenni Romaniuk:
To me, I think this is a design marketing partnership where understanding how these assets will be used, helps designers make sure that when they do create great stuff, it's actually given the best opportunity to succeed.

Arek Dvornechuck:
What’s up branding experts, Arek here at Ebaqdesign and my guest today is Jenni Romaniuk and Jenni is ResearchProfessor and AssociateDirector (International) of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, at the University of SouthAustralia. Through her work at the institute Jenni has advised many of the world’s biggest brands on best practice, long-term brand management, using evidence-base knowledge.
She’s also the author of How Brands Grow, and Building Distinctive Brand Assets which is the book right here, and this is the book we’re going to talk about today.
So Jenni is an expert when it comes to branding, and especially things like brand equity, mental availability, brand health metrics, advertising effectiveness and distinctive assets, of course, and that’s why I really wanted haveJenni on our podcast today, to talk about—Distinctive Brand Assets.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Hello Jenni, Thanks for being here!

Jenni Romaniuk:
It's great to be here.

Arek Dvornechuck:
So in the introduction, you argued that most of the books on brand building tend to just see brand identity as a design exercise right with the aesthetics are at the core of choices. But through your work, you actually teach us on how to make more meaningful decisions. So when it comes to things like redesigning the logo, choosing color palette, choosing the right ecography, creating a tagline, perhaps using cactus Moscow's influencer sport as his spokes, people, and so on, so that we can harness the value of of those different brand assets, right? You make evidence based informed decisions, how to make those evidence, base basing informed decisions, so so that we can make less mistakes. And we can get better at branding, right? So when it comes to mistakes, for example, Tropicana or gab, these, these are kind of and these are the examples that you talked about in your book as well. So, and I think this is also you know, these are big brands. So we all know, or most of us designers, creative people know about those mistakes. So can you just talk to us about a little bit about benefits of using your scientific approach when building brand assets versus just relying on pure aesthetics?

Jenni Romaniuk:
Yeah, I mean, part of it is a part of the goal of the book is to shift the conversation away from should we choose red or blue? To is color a useful asset for us to develop and why? Because there are some contexts with color as a property in how our eyes react to color, how color helps something get noticed, is a really important property. If you go to that stage, first of understanding the property of the assets, and you can decide what type of asset to then you can, as a marketer, strategically invest in the right types of assets. And then within that time, there are some styles of assets that are going to help the brand more, versus helped the brand more stand out versus, you know, make it blend in if it's more common. So that's when the style comes into it in terms of should you choose red or blue? Well, it depends, do other brands use red or blue? If other brand, lots of other brands use red, then that's not a smart color from a distinctive asset perspective. So the design aspect of it then comes into how do you make a decision blue is the best color, how do you bring that to life. And so that means that the the most value can come out of the aesthetics and the design and the creative side of it, because you've made that you've honed down to the decision to an area where you're giving the brand identity the best opportunities to succeed. So to me, I think this is a design marketing partnership where understanding how these assets would be used, helps designers make sure that when they do create great staff, it's actually given the best opportunity to succeed. So it works on both sides. Because I can imagine as a designer, there's nothing more frustrating than doing really great creative and then it failing in the market because proper consideration was given to what that great creative should actually be about.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Right and you go give us a lot of example. I'm pushing the book, real case scenario so that we can all understand the concepts. But okay, so you divided your book basically to like, three broad sections, right, which is the strategy, measurement and implementation. Right. So. So I just wanted to, you know, go over those, those three talking points. So starting with the strategy. So, I wanted to talk a bit about each of those sections. And, you know, so so first in the strategy, talk about how we create memories and associations with the, with the brands we experience, right, and you talk about your story, for example, your first override, and how you created those associations, you know, in your memory with the brand, you know, so that way we can anchor those different brand assets with the with the brand name. And the next time we see that we kind of like you talk about retrieval, right? We remember those experiences. And so can you just talk about that this first section, the strategy, and perhaps, you know, give us some examples? Maybe you can touch on on on subjects like associative, associative network, mental and physical availability? Yeah, so can you just talk a bit about that? Now,

Arek Dvornechuck:
we are going to take a quick break here, but we'll be right back. Lesson. My mission is to help people build and design iconic brands. So whether you're a business leader who wants to be more intentional with branding, and all of its aspects, or you are a creative professional, who wants to attract powerful clients and surely be able to help them with branding, then you need to start with a discovery session in order to develop a strategy that will inform all the creative work, and everything that you need to learn how to do that you can find in my online courses, at ebook design, that calm slash shop, what I've shared with you my worksheets, case studies, video tutorials, and other additional resources to help you feel safe and strong about your process. And now let's get back to our interview.

Jenni Romaniuk:
Sure, sure, they've been topping so I'm not sure time to go into them in depth. But yeah, I mean. So a memory is like a network of associations. This is a common model of memory. It's, it's one of the oldest forms, it goes back to Aristotle was the first person recorded to propose this. And but what that means is that things get associated with other stuff. And this is important to understand how we form memories, because marketing is largely about forming memories forming the right memories, the most useful memories, part of those are the brand identity, because that's what you want to trigger the brand. And rather, those are other associations that help the brand to get bored. And so if we understand how memories are formed, we're better place to do it. But yet often brand strategy lacks that grounding in how our memory works. And the other thing to remember is a memory stopped like a computer, it's not perfect that we can search and it will come up. It's a really well, if it is a computer, it's a very dodgy one that we think, because we constantly forget stuff, we constantly fail to retrieve stuff. It's it's just a function of life. And so part of the job is to keep memories fresh. And again, as in the mapping field in general, we forget that we forget that we don't just tell someone once, we have to remind them even if things they already know, because we've got to keep things fresh. So when it comes to brand identity, we first of all have to build it and to build it, we need the brand name there. And one of the most the biggest mistakes marketers make and designers I will say as part of this is when trying to build assets. Forget that. In the initial stages, you have to have the pairing of the asset you want to build and the brand name because that's what forms the associations in memory. Because anything that gets added to our memory needs something already in our memory to act as the anchor for it. If you've ever sat there and listened to two people speaking a language you don't know. Even if someone even if he listened intently and afterwards, someone asked you to repeat that you wouldn't be able to your brain wouldn't be able to remember it because there's no anchor for it. Okay, so the brand names an important anchor. And so we need to do the asset building phase before we move to the asset using phase where we can not have the brand name as much and to actually use it as a standalone branding device, their mental availability is, is about the propensity of the brand to be thought of in buying situations. Even when we've got all the brands in front of us in the supermarket, we don't pay attention to everything. We've no interest in that. What happens is we screen in a few and our brains, you know, kind of narrows that down for us. It doesn't, we don't even notice it happens. And you can check this by going to the supermarket going to a category you buy from but maybe not that often. And stopping and looking at everything that's on the shelf, and you realize is all these things that have happened in that category you didn't even notice. Physical availability is about being easy to find and buy to think about mental availability is getting the brain ready. Physical availability is making it easy for people to act on that. And distinctive asset cuts across both of them. Because it is important in building mental availability, because that's done through all of our marketing activity, our advertising, our social media, anything that goes out there with the brand's name on it, distinctive assets can help enhance the branding and make sure it goes to the right part of people's brains. Distinctive assets help physical availability, because then when people are in buying situations, often those are competitive. There's lots of other brands around you want your brand to stand out from the others and be easily Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, the ones that pink top, that's the one I want, and walk away. So that's where what we call shopping assets really come into there for the assets that people use when they're trying to find brands in shopping environments. And we can train people to work out to use the shopping assets we want them to use by putting them in our advertising. So that we're priming the brain already so that when people go into buying situation, they go oh, you That's right, I'm looking for the one with the pink top. Because that's what the advertising is taught me is actually what this brand how I can easily find this brand in say, a big clutter of bottled waters or some other category.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Right. So physical availability is like through advertisement, for example, childhood experience, we see it somewhere. And you talk also about CP. So we need, we need to first think about all of that brand. And then we all that brands needs to be also Easy, easy to find, for example, in a supermarket right? And I think it is a great moment to talk about just to give our listeners an example. Because not not me actually know what we what we are talking about. So for example, I think Tropicana is a great example. Right? They rebranded they change the packaging, and as you just mentioned, you walk into the store, you look at this shelf, and you want this with something with a pink top, right? So let's take Tropicana as an example. We are you we were used to this packaging with this orange with a straw. Right, and then suddenly they change that people couldn't find that they lost medium. So I don't know. Off sales. And can you just talk about that?

Jenni Romaniuk:
Yeah, I mean, it's it is a really good example. It's people sometimes find it a bit dated now, but it is it. What's fascinating is, if you look online, there's actually a wonderful Ad Age video that shows the people who the agency that did the change for Tropicana talking about why they did it. And if you watch that video, there's a sense of familiarity in that you can imagine that happening anyway, because they did the changes with the best of intent. They didn't go all let's work out how can we damage the brand, they genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and improving the design for the experience of the customer. But what they neglected was the cues that customers were using to find the brand and when they took them away. They didn't do any form of re education or didn't do that quick enough. And so what happened is they were no they were invisible on shelf. And they're not the only ones. They're just the most high profile ones, which is yes, they lost. I think it was reported about $20 million in sales in about a month. That's not good when you're the leading brand, but I will say one of the things about being in the distinctive asset area is I'm somewhat of a confessional sometimes. And I have had people confess similar mistakes that maybe are less high profile that happened where people have changed the packaging because of a good idea that just fails miserably in there because they didn't understand what you can change and what you can't and actually one of our researchers will be has just finished a large scale study looking at packaging games that will be coming out later this year. That's really unpacking what happens behind the scenes with packaging changes, because there's a said they'd like people wake up and go, today, I'm going to do something bad for my brand. But it's an unfortunate consequence that often that's what happens. And so by better understanding what you can change, and what if you understand what what you need to stay the same, that then opens up the field for what you can actually change, and gives more creative license, which is you don't have to worry about Am I doing damage to the brand, because you're keeping firm the cues that you need those shopping assets that people need to separating out and this is part of the other part of the, what I want people to take away from the book. And from our work in distinctive assets. in general. It's only when you want something to be a branding device Do you need to keep it the same, because that's about reloading and refreshing that memory. And once you narrow that down, once you've got those set of say, four to six assets, that you really want to hold on to it, that's really all you need. When you if you plan it, right, that thing leaves you all this freedom to change all the other stuff accordingly, to change the creative to change the design to change the to change the messaging that you're putting out there. So it's about sort of quarantining off a few things that are these are the branding parts that we need to keep the same. To give you the freedom to change all the other stuff, you no longer have to be prisoner to it. So part of it is liberating from a design perspective, because you've you've identified, these are the things that are for memory purposes. And to keep those memories fresh and being reinforced. We have to keep these the same. And you not only know what what you're keeping the same, you understand why you're keeping the same? Because I think if sometimes, if we're given constraints, and not the reason why they become shackles, we want to throw off, why can I change the color, it's not fair, I want to change, I'm a rebel, I want to change the color. But if you understand the consequences of changing the color is that you miss that reinforcement moment, you potentially create your own mental competition, and you hamper and damage the brand's long term identity, then that makes you think twice about well, do I really need to change the color? Maybe I'll change something else instead. So understanding why I just think is really important. Because without that, we can't we don't understand why it's hard to keep those policies in place if people don't understand why the policies in place in the first place.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Right. And your book is all about that right? is about all about why find finding, finding out, you know what we should change and then and then why we can change that. Right? So just my some of my takeaways regarding this first part. So it just I wanted to set the stage for our listeners. So so you need to first first as you as you say, in the book, you need to be in the race, right. So this is not for just like total startups that they don't have a logo, I don't have any assets yet. It yet is is more for you know, brands who are ready to rebrand right?

Jenni Romaniuk:
To say something there, it's not so much it's not for them, I do believe strategy mean to go on. So if you're entering into a category, you do want to make sure and you can do this by surveying the competitive landscape. So you have something that has the potential to be an own able asset. So it won't be yet because people barely know your name. But there's no point in starting out with an identity that you then have to change later on when you become more well known. So it is actually important when you start out to put the foundations in place. So you might not have a lot of other stuff in there. But you might make sure that your logo and your fonts and your colors are things that do actually look like they could be own able compared to the competitive space that you're in, even if you don't engage in active asset building, until you've really built up the awareness that people know you're a member of the category. So it's irrelevant for them. It's just it's foundational rather than a focus of your strategy. Your strategy really should be letting people know you sell what you sell festival.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Right, right. So you're stupid. So yes, you're still you can use it but you can just use it to to you know, everything. You just cannot measure, measure some of those things because you are Not, you're just you're just a startup, right? So but as you said, you can you can research your competitors, your competitors, right, you can't

Jenni Romaniuk:
make a point measuring yourself. Because if your brand awareness is only say 10%, yeah, then the maximum fame score, which is one of the key metrics is 10%. So there's no point in, you're going to be low by by virtue of just not having the brand awareness. So that you can measure competitors, and you can counter program to competitors. And that's an important part in distinctive asset design, counter programming to the environment and to competitors.

Arek Dvornechuck:
So you can start on the right foot, right. So yeah, and also have some, some of the examples of distinctive assets. So think about this. For our listeners, you know, a Coca Cola bottle feed you think about that. It's very distinctive, right? You can find it in the dark. That's how it was designed. It's a very distinctive shape. Red Bull cartoon style. For example, in advertisement m&ms conduct that is right. At HSBC, their red border, Intel is famous, famous sounds five notes, mnemonic and Nike Just do it. The most famous tagline probably in the world, and the Coronavirus protocol called color, for example, these are these are just some of these examples. And that is more of them in the book. But just just to give us something to think about why we are talking about all these things. So we can actually understand those concepts. So you started talking about fame and fame is so this brings us closer to the second section, which is measurement, right? So you basically hear you talk about two metrics, fame and uniqueness, right. And then you also give us the store distinctive assets. Great. So you develop the store that allows us to to, you know, to measure the strength of our brand assets. So can you just talk a bit about that, you know, how we can how we can use this and what is fame? What is uniqueness can just explain that.

Jenni Romaniuk:
So, we did a lot of r&d into how to measure the strengths, because one of the things we realized was holding back marketers, when it came to making the decisions about distinctive assets was lack of measurement. And if you don't have any way to quantify measurement, you you don't have any objective inputs into decision making. It's really then just opinion, and all the loudest voice in the room wins. So we looked at different approaches, we looked at things like response latency in terms of the time taken to respond, we abandoned that quite quickly because it didn't give us the information that we needed, nor did it solve the problem that we wanted to solve, which is can the asset evoke the brand without the brand being present. And the nature of a response latency measure is the brand is present, but it's usually not the time taken to retrieve the brand. That's a problem whether it's 1.8 of a second or 1.2 seconds is actually is the brand which worked or not. And so we then tested different ways of measuring things, whether you have the brand is a cue, whether you have the asset is the cue, whether you do it prompting for brands or not prompting for brands and we found that the best approach was to prompt for the provide people with the asset and get them to elicit the brands unprompted. And the reason for that is that it replicates what we do in the real world. So when you see the shape of the Coca Cola bottle, your brain just thinks Coke, you don't ask it to just pops into your head. Now sometimes it doesn't. And for some people it doesn't. But for the vast majority it does. And then the second thing is about this one measurement is it actually is a hard measure in that it's assets can store strong on this, but it is quite hard to do it without prompting, when you prompt for brand you make it easier for people to give you responses and you run the risk then of inflated responses, things are higher than they really are in the real world. So you really can't prompt for brands at all it will get you make you feel like your brand identity is stronger than it is so out of that approach of prompting for assets and getting people to elicit unprompted there are two metrics you can extract. So, fame is the first metric well uniqueness is the first metrics that save now, uniqueness is about the degree to which you are the only brand that is a vote when that asset is presented and it can be audio it can be visual, but

Arek Dvornechuck:
can you give us an example so for for example, with the Coca Cola bottle, right, if we see if we see the Coca Cola bottle, most of the people will know it's Coca Cola,

Jenni Romaniuk:
so you To see if you saw the Coca Cola bottling say, out of the responses for the Coca Cola bottle 80% said Coca Cola, or Coke, some variety of it. And 20% said some other brand baby Pepsi or Dr Pepper or sprite everything else, then they find their uniqueness would be 80% out of that. So what that would mean is the proportion of all the responses for that asset was shared as your branch get. So that reflects your own ability, the higher the uniqueness 100% would mean you're the only brand evoke when that acid is presented. Zero would mean you're not evoked at all. And so all the responses are for competitors. And the reason why uniqueness is the first metric we consider is because it's the hardest for you to change ad control, because it partially depends on what other people are doing. Because for better or for worse, distinctive assets are things we build, they don't just naturally occur. The other metric is fine, which is how widespread that knowledge of the link between your brand and that asset is. So in case of the Coca Cola bottle, it might be that, it's 90% times and nine in 10. Category buyers, when they see that asset, say Coca Cola, and 10% might say compared to or they might not say anybody, and people can say multiple as well, it's important to realize that people can have multiple brands attached to the same asset, it's a competitive memory. So you need to allow for that in your measurement, you can't assume it's just one brand, one asset. Although I will say in reality, most of it, we've done load benchmarking on this, most of the time, it is one brand. But there are some assets like colors, that are highly competitive spaces where you do get multiple brands linked to the same asset. So when we take those two metrics together, we can plot the strategic potential of it. And that's, that's really what the grid is about. That's the black and white version is a pretty color version. And if anybody wants that, if they message me on LinkedIn, or email me, I can send them a copy of that. But um, yeah, what it does is it just allows you to see whether or not in broad senses, the asset is usable as a replacement for the brand, something that has a head start in terms of choosing a potential investment, something you should avoid, because you're highly likely to evoke competitors, or something that just has no real advantage at this stage. And all assets start down in the bottom 0% fame 0% uniqueness. So being down there for a new asset is not a problem, that's normal. It's just you don't want to stay down there. If you're trying to build the asset, you want it to move up over time. So this allows you to quantify it, and see how it tracks over time. So it's basically

Arek Dvornechuck:
started here, and then depending on which quadrant you end up, in, for example, you would want to end up in something like here right to use or lose.

Jenni Romaniuk:
Where the star is, is when you really want to be 100% fame 100% uniqueness. And it is possible to get up there, we do have assets that are very, very close to that, you know, 95%, same 99% uniqueness type of thing. But the thing is, I mean, most of the time, when we do that we do this asset measurement for companies. And most of the time we do this, we're usually coming into an existing brand. And so what you find is you do a benchmarking phase where there's a whole range of assets all over the grid, and then you narrow that down to the ones that you're going to invest in the long term. And the ones that you're going to invest in the short term, what your next year in terms of asset building looks like. Sometimes we test new assets to check to see there's no competitor encroachment already, because people might have an idea for an asset, but you want to make sure you're not choosing something that's going to be really, really hard to build. Because if it's already doctor, your competitors already featuring in it, that's really hard to undo when you run the risk if you promote that asset of actually promoting that more. And so, all of these things come into when you're doing that measurement benchmarking phase to set up your strategy going forward.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Right. So it's all about effectiveness basically. So, so, you allow us you present us with those tools and techniques and and tell us how to measure effectiveness of each brand asset so that we can be more effective in marketing and advertisement where we can make some meaningful decisions right. So you know, so we can make some static Yeah, we can make some patient as well and efficient and effective, right. So strategic decisions. So So we just, we aren't gonna waste time developing asset assets that are not going to get us, you know, more sales or more growth or things like that, right.

Jenni Romaniuk:
It's more about not wasting time on assets that you're not going to use a lot. So for example, if you don't do a lot of advertising in audio mediums, you don't need an audio asset, you can just say the brand name out loud, the few times that you are that connect as an audio asset, you don't need to develop a special sight sound or something like that. But also, if making sure that you don't duplicate your efforts, so no one needs multiple tag lines or multiple images and things like that. So part of the philosophy behind the distinctive asset palette, is to look at it to make sure that you've got diversity in the properties of the assets you build, so that you can, and this is part of the efficiency aspect of it, you're not building investing in building things that you've already got assets that already do that job. So you're actually smartly investing so that you are covering as many branding context as possible with the assets that are best suited to that environment. And that's where our r&d is continuing in looking at how assets operate in different environments, and how do you improve your odds of getting the brand to stand out through asset selection and asset execution?

Arek Dvornechuck:
Yes, and then regarding asset selection, this is one of those, this is how you categorize assets. Right. So for example, we can have color assets, which can be a single color, color combination, or design plus color can be one asset, which is you know, like a tagline, as you mentioned, it could be also water sort of phones, some distinctive like, for example, MasterCard is is priceless, right? We think about this, they always talk about this one word. So they actually are they can own that award, right. And we have also started ourselves which is like Star style moments to human human face ourselves, which is really interesting. It's just an expose people, celebrities, and also characters like m&ms or Pringles, the guy from bingos, music assets, as you mentioned, sometimes we you know, we might want to go there, sometimes we we don't. So it's like gene goes like Intel, some popular songs, sometimes background instrumentals and things like that shape sets, which is like the you know, the of the packaging, shape of the packaging, logos and symbols and other graphics and images. And, and sound assets like styles vocal and non vocal. So there is there are different types, and you go into, and you describe each and every type in all those assets. So, this is really interesting, but I just wanted to, like, show our listeners what they can expect, what what are those actually, what are those different assets? Right, so, some of my takeaways from this part. So we've talked about fame and uniqueness as to matrix right. So, so just to sum up fame, is how well the asset is known among a more category bias and uniqueness is the brand's level of ownership of that asset. So if if it's 100%, that it triggers only one brand, you know, if it If, for example, if the Coca Cola bottle would be 100% uniqueness, then everybody knows that this is Coca Cola, and they don't mistake that for another brand.

Jenni Romaniuk:
Technically, if it's 100% uniqueness, it means anyone who knows a brand link to that asset says it's Coca Cola, but it doesn't mean everybody because everybody is the same aspect of it. Okay, uniqueness is only amongst those who do know the assets. So you can have 100% uniqueness with an asset that has only 10% fat, so only if people know it, but the people who do only not only know that brand, and that would be something that was an investment potential quadrant that we would say. So now you've got the uniqueness. You just need to build that fame more and get more people know about it. So it's just the difference between finding uniqueness uniqueness is only amongst those who actually have a brand link to it, whereas fame is amongst the whole population.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Thanks for clarifying that. Okay, so that's about the second section and the 10th section will be implementation. So here it basically answers the question which assets we should build, right? We should, what we should focus on and so here as I mentioned, you go over those different types of assets and, and give us some further insights on how to use them effectively. So Perhaps we can just talk about a bit about, you know, the most important ones like I think the caller's color will be the major one, shapes, faces, phones and sounds, perhaps you can give us some examples. just just just to clarify. So anything that hits our senses, whether it is visual audio, smell, taste, or even touch can be a brand asset, right?

Jenni Romaniuk:
Yeah, it can be, it's just that we tend to use visual and audio, because that's what most of our media communicate. But you know, if you're talking about a shopping asset, where people are physically there on the shelf, then the touch the feel of something can be Yeah, so that's possibility if you're in a retail setting the smell of this location. So if you think of brands like lush, or KFC, or subway with their bread, I use the smell said, you know, oh, there's a subway down. Next, I can smell the bread, baking and taste, taste is a tricky one, because it usually can only kick in after you bought it. So that's why it's not often used as a distinctive asset. But it could be and you know, who knows where technology will go in the future whereby, you know, with virtual reality and haptics where people can feel things that we might have a wider sensory range of distinctive assets. But right now, it's mainly arise in areas and the grouping of the assets in the book is deliberate, because that focuses on the common properties. So you talk about face assets. So most people talk about celebrities as spokespeople in characters, like they're different. And they are, but they're also the same image, they all have a face, and there's a power in a face. Because our sociological upbringing is such that whenever we go into a new scene and see a new scene, we will look for faces first. And we will always look for faces first, because we want to know if someone is Friend or Foe? And should we approach or should we run in the other direction as quickly as possible. And so faces have ability to command attention. And so all of those, whether it's a celebrity spokesperson, our character has that power. That's the unifying thing, from a branding perspective, it can bring attention to the brand because of the power of the face. But there are also drawbacks with that. And that's where, you know, I don't know, we measured hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of brands, their distinct message strength, most assets, but we're all assets can be strong. And there's some research out there that suggests that there are some assets types that are better than others, I don't see evidence for that, in the main, I do see some asset types that are weaker than others. But in a lot of cases, it's an execution issue rather than an asset type issue. So we need to separate those things out, I've seen in cases of all types of assets, there have been really strong up near that target point on the grid. However, some types of assets that happens more commonly than others, mainly because of how they chose them. And so if we look at face assets, celebrities are one where there's very few up in that top corner, versus being highly competitive or not well known. And that's partly because celebrities bring their own mental competition to the table. They have, we have associations of celebrities, and that interferes with our link between the celebrity and the brand. And so when you choose a celebrity, you get the attention getting the familiarity, but you also get the baggage that that brings in terms of retrieval and the ability to attach memories. And this is where understanding how we build memories is really important for asset selection, because then you might go, Well, this celebrity isn't a great branding device, they're really good to get attention to my ad, and I can use them so people will know and my ad will cut through. But I don't want to keep them as a branding device. Because they're actually really hard for me to get that getting keep that solid link with the brand, because they constantly got these other things going on that interfere with my brand being a prominent part of that person's network. But having said that, there are some examples where celebrities do have strong links to brands, they're just very few and far between. and they tend to be celebrities that have had a long association with with one brand and don't advertise a lot of other brands. So and there are very few of those because most celebrities have multiple endorsements. And that's part of their celebrity role. And so they often they just have a lot of competitive clutter. So if we think about all of these different types as having properties that we can harness or should take into account when we're choosing, we can just make smarter choices. So color, for example, is really good in environments where we can't see everything just by looking ahead at something. So for example, if you're in a supermarket and you look down an aisle, you have to move your head To see everything, you can't just see everything right in front of you. And when we move ahead, and we don't focus on anything, the only things our eyes can actually registers color. So that's why color blocks in supermarkets are particularly effective. Because we're looking around and we go, Oh, yes, there's the bright yellow section or That's right. El Paso, which is a brand of Mexican food that uses bright yellow, in its packaging. And so it allows us to see Oh, there's the chocolate. Yeah, I should get some chocolate, because you've seen the purple ball of Cadbury. So all of these things help in that particular environment. Color be a really useful asset.

Arek Dvornechuck:
can be tricky. The color can be tricky, because first before we use there are also a color assigned to assign to category right.

Jenni Romaniuk:
Yeah, I mean, one of our researchers is just done being GM study on this as well. So that will be coming out later this year too. And here, there's some interesting findings on that. I think, though, the thing about color is that it's easy to change. So it's a decision we always have to make because everything physical has to have a color. And it's quite easy to change because you don't have to retool the factory you just really have to, you know, press a different button for the die. And so and we did some work previously, looking at marketing specific marketers. options of changes to logos, marketers were much more comfortable with changing the logo color of the logo rather than the shape of the logo. But when we tested the time to find the logo on a Facebook page, like the Facebook ad, what we found is that the color change was detrimental to finding the logo, much more than the logo change was so mad because we're comfortable changing a color, but that had a worse effect than the logo that shape change of the logo. So I think we just psychologically, so it's hard to keep a color asset. Strong, it's hard to, it's hard to select a color asset because there are so many things in your way. But even when you do, it's hard to keep it and I've had heard anecdotes of so pedigree. Dog food is one of the brands that's very good at the color yellow, permeating their packs, their advertising, and apparently, even some creative agencies have gone Do we have to make another ad with yellow in it? It's like, yes, you do, because that's the brands. So you know, so so it's it's it's one of those challenges, that it's a really powerful asset when you have it. But not many people have it. It's one of the biggest competitive playing fields, and some of them are competition that marketers create for themselves by poor decisions,

Arek Dvornechuck:
I think do you find is is a good example, right? They own the goal or in this category in

Unknown Speaker  21:33  
never see a Tiffany's box in a different color, do you? They don't go for a special occasion for Mother's Day, we'll make pink boxes for change. Today, because we've, we've got Mother's Day coming up here, how many brands change for Mother's Day and all go into the swarm of the same type of style? Because isn't that what mums like?

Jenni Romaniuk:
Yeah, yeah, so there are different assets, and you describe all of them. And at the end, so you start actually with seven sense of, you know, brand identity, and you and you end up with four commandments. So four commands would be choose wisely, resist change, execute well, and prioritize smartly, not going to go into details. So you guys can check out the book by the basically, you also talk about this, is sometimes you have to advise companies to, to to do not change something, you know, because that's that can be costly for that can be, you know, bad decision for them. So you just prevent them from making this mistake. So it's not always about knowing what to change and changing something. But also, you know, sometimes not changing, you know, and knowing what are your strongest assets and just stick to sticking to them. Some of my best research for clients has resulted in nothing happening. And by that, I mean, they didn't make a big mistake by change, or costly, costly change that would have no benefit to them. It's not even that it has to be a big mistake. It just has to be Why are you bothering there's no, there's no benefit to doing this. And that's some of the best research I've done that and no one will ever see the impact of because it's all about what didn't happen rather than what did happen.

Arek Dvornechuck:
So as we're approaching the end of our interview, please let us know how we can find more about you. Whether it is for creatives, like myself, who want to learn more, of course, I'm gonna link to the bulk in the description box, but maybe for for clients who want to work with you how we can get in touch with you. Yeah, I

Jenni Romaniuk:
I mean, my email address is pretty easy to find. Being a university professor, if you just Google me, you can usually find me at the University of South Australia, the ehrenburg best Institute. LinkedIn is also a good forum. I pushed a lot of things on LinkedIn. So yeah, always happy to be connected with someone there as well.

Arek Dvornechuck:
Thank you very much for coming on the show. I really appreciate that.

Jenni Romaniuk:
Cheers.

Arek Dvornechuck:
So thanks for tuning in, and if you enjoyed this episode of on branding podcast, follow me on social media for more tips on branding, strategy and design, this was Arek Dvornechuck from Ebaqdesign and I will see you in the next one.

Save money

Best Deals for Creatives

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
Branding Guide

Build a brand your customers will love.

Start a project

Need help with your brand?