We are emotional beings when we buy food and drink brands. In a crowded and noisy supermarket, our brains are inundated with information overload which we struggle to rationally compute at speed. Our default position is to buy brands that talk to us emotionally, food and drink brands aim to forge emotional connections with consumers. In a world increasingly fascinated by the shiny and the new, it has become ever harder for established brands to maintain the emotional meaning that once made them famous. All too often they rely on sales tactics like discounting, reducing quantity/quality and other margin protecting measures. They have simply lost their strategic strength and resort to hand-to-mouth sales tactics that drive the brand and category value down.
Time and time again we see brands that once had enormous emotional meaning in people’s lives simply lose their way. It need not be this way. They are often sitting on decades of accumulated latent meaning deep in our memory structures. It is possible to refresh those emotional connections to invoke long lost meaning and once again trigger buyers. This is how to do it.
The Six Paths to Building Emotional Meaning
There are six routes for a brand to acquire new relevant meaning. Every brand that means something to us has made that connection by leveraging one or more of these paths. To understand how to refresh that connection we need to explore each path and gain an understanding of what your brand meant to people in the first place, means to people today, and could mean when it’s being refreshed tomorrow: