June 26, 2009

Do products/brands have personalities?

Apparently, yes! Some are inherent. Ponds Dreamflower Tacl for instance. Some are built that way. Royal Enfield Bullet for instance. The latter could have been a deadbeat player by now considering its vintage and marketed on the pedigree platform alone, but machismo was deliberately built into the communication right from the beginning and today it is a cult brand.

Few know that one of the most noted 'manufactured' personality is Marlborough.

Marlborough was a woman's cigarette, to begin with. A product registering sad sales volumes. The situation was turned around by a re-branding exercise that positioned a dainty, woman's indulgence as a macho man's signature.

Like brands, all products have personalities, mostly inherent and therefore not conducive to personality manipulation. A cola drink has a fun, bubbly personality. A coffee shop has a laid back, relaxed personality.

When such is the case, would you want to break away from the personality type and project the product otherwise? Would you project a cola drink as a medicinal drink or medicine per se? (Believe it or not, Coke was at first sold as medicine. A bad idea in hind sight). Would you portray a coffee shop as a pious place of serious contemplation where you must always come in your Sunday best?

Then why do we do so?

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