Mind Control 1.0

Making a brand reach every facet of a customer’s life is the main objective of any company and Marketing manager. Many people have preached that it is better to increase your “wallet share” over your “market share”. I will be talking about how to increase your “mind share”; which means making sure your brand is recognized (even misrecognized) almost instantly. How do can you make this happen? By using a few simple, yet fundamental, branding elements-in your favor- and against the competition.

In my last article, I discussed the “Customer Contact Point” as one of the fundamental components of a branding strategy. This week, I will point out a few ways to expand your brand into new dimensions.

It’s in the Fine Print

Michael Horsham, of Tomato Interactive, recently spoke at Art Futura 2001 in Barcelona. He suggested the idea that a brand can be completely dynamic and adaptable.

I won’t go as far as introducing fractal algorithms or artificial intelligence adaptable interfaces to promote and develop a brand. However, I am going to champion a few key branding elements for use in your branding arsenal.

Apple is a master in this area. Their Marketing and Design teams have developed during the last few years very identifiable “Brand Elements” that allow customers to easily identify the Apple brand.

I do not mean the Apple logo. The iMac design made the public associate any transparent item automatically with Apple. Any transparent watch, picture frame or computer makes you immediately think of Apple. The same thing is happening with their new Aqua interface- any button or logo that this transparent and blue immediately brings to mind the Apple’s Aqua interface.

These two representative branding elements imply an enormous amount of research and design effort on Apple’s part, and I am sure that it hasn’t been cheap. However, how can other companies that do not have Apple’s design team or resources incorporate these representative elements?

Go with the print. It’s a sure fire success. This is another tool that Apple uses to identify and associate the Apple brand with their products- and creating brand continuity in the process. Here is an example of an advertisement that is not from Apple, although the potential customer immediately recognizes it as an Apple compatible product.


Why is this instantly recognizable as an Apple product? Because it uses the same font as the Apple logo.

Another example from Apple we could learn from: name consistency- iMac, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD. Not long ago Apple launched a new, non-Macintosh product into the market. Can you guess it’s name? iPod. Any questions or doubts about who it’s from?

Well Tickle Me Pink!

Another element that is easily recognized and is easy to successfully apply for brand development is color. I do not mean the color of the logo; I mean pervasive and consistent use of color, use that impregnates every facet of brand communication.

An excellent example of color usage is from a Spanish bank- Banco Santander. The dominant color that appears in the bank’s logo and everything they make or do is RED. I don’t mean a little line of red here and there. You see nothing but RED when you look at publicity from Banco Santander.

There is a pamphlet from Banco Santander where cars, houses, trains, etc. appear. Everything is black and white, with a few strong RED highlights- the train, the sky, etc. Recently I saw a television commercial with the same elements and the distinctive use of one color: RED. Immediately I thought the commercial was for Banco Santander. Wrong. It was for CESPA, a Spanish service station chain.

Banco Santander had sufficiently pounded into my mind “RED=Banco Santander” that other commercials made me think immediately of Banco Santander. This is Akido Marketing at its finest.

So, one other element you can add to your arsenal for efficient and effective brand communication.

The Sound of Music

One last element for effective brand communication is music. Adding a few notes to your advertisements adds power to your advertising punch. I don’t mean a “jingle” either. This new element can be a true marketing challenge. How does your brand SOUND?

A few examples spring to mind: Intel, with their four note melody; Apple with their characteristic start up tone; and in Spain, Patagon with their characteristic Pa-ta-gon.

Even though Patagon is a relatively new company ( an online bank that is just getting started) they have already incorporated long-term marketing elements that allow them to obtain a greater client “mind share”.

It doesn’t matter which of these elements your incorporate into your branding strategy, each one is an effective and efficient method of establishing communication with current and future clients.

Until next time, Happy Branding!

Jason Ball

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