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7 July 2010
We may be bombarded by advertisements for cars, banks and shampoo but unless the brand really means something to us, we don’t buy it, a Deakin University researcher has found.
Dr Julian Vieceli, an expert on branding in the Deakin Business School, looked at people’s ability to recall the brand names of several categories of product - shampoo, banks and cars.
People were then asked to outline the associations or reasons why the brand stayed in their minds.
“Basically over time people build up a memory or associations of a brand,” Dr Vieceli said.
“This can be related to its benefits and features as well as more emotional knowledge based on their own personal experiences with it.
“These memories are used as cues to help them decide between different products to buy.”
Dr Vieceli said the research showed that the first brand people recalled had a deeper and broader meaning to them.
“The more unique and positive associations that consumers have for your brand, the more likely it is to be the first one recalled, the greater the chance of purchase,” he said.
Dr Vieceli said when the different categories were compared it didn’t matter whether the most popular brand was a car, shampoo or bank.
“The number of associations were the same,” he said.
“Cars though had the highest number of favourable memories, followed by shampoo and finally banks.
“The result for the banks was not surprising as at the time the research was conducted there was a lot of negative sentiment towards banks and banking institutions in Australia.”
Dr Vieceli said when people set out to buy a car, they had to put in a lot of time and effort into their choice.
“My research found that cars have the highest number of memories and the highest number of unique and positive memories,” he said.
“My other research has shown that women know more about cars than they think they do,” he said.
“They can say things like ‘Oh God! I know nothing about cars.’
“Yet they take quite a lot of interest in cars and know quite a lot.
“When we asked them to recall brands of car they had depth of knowledge and had formed an emotional attachment to the brand.
“Men on the other hand were only able to list the brands but weren’t able to go beyond that.”
Dr Vieceli said marketers needed to concentrate not only on building brand awareness but also on giving people multiple associations with it, so they can recall the brand name.
“For most fast-moving consumer goods, we make our purchase decision in less than a second,” he said.
“Make sure your brand is in the first two or three brands recalled, because generally the first or second one recalled will be the one which is purchased.”
Deakin Media Relations
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Dr Julian Vieceli talks about the implications his research into brand associations has for marketers of cars, banks and shampoo