Seeking the human meaning in consumer behavior

Tag: ritual

The Holy Grail Of Market Research

The Holy Grail Of Market Research

At a recent gathering of marketers, I was struck when a speaker told the audience, “Behavioral change is the Holy Grail of market research.” I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, but the term fits what I’ve seen, years watching frustrated clients confronted by […]

The Semiotics of Marketing, Marlboro and Mythology

The Semiotics of Marketing, Marlboro and Mythology

In her book Marketing Semiotics: Signs, Strategies, and Brand Value, Laura Oswald explains how the iconic, mythical persona that came to represent the emotional benefits of cigarette smoking in general and the Marlboro brand in particular, embodied a promise of ritualized rebellion. Oswald wrote, “Myths […]

Developing Brand Rituals

Credit is due to Zain Raj, author of the book Brand Rituals. Raj, a brand marketer in Chicago, caught on early to the idea of connecting brand development to ritual development.

zain rajIn his book, published in 2012, Raj observed that, “Too often, we still rely on brand images and attitudes that we try to create in the space between the customer’s ears, rather than brand behaviors that take place in the real-world space where products are consumed and services selected.”

Without owning the space between consumers’ ears, no business can establish a meaningful brand. However, the craft of branding needs to go beyond mere conceptual territory if it will every have an impact. What’s been missing in marketing is a consistent method for incorporating consumers’ irrational motivations into an action-oriented system designed to do what matters most in business: Change consumer behavior.

Raj urges marketers to recognize that, in a world of proliferating media and diversifying resources of production and distribution, brand loyalties need to be expressed in the form of tangible action, with brand values linked to a more involved sense of belonging. “What worked in the past,” he writes, “a specialized approach to brand marketing that valued attitudes more than behaviors – is not going to work in the new world of limitless information and limited time and resources. The solution begins with regaining a more holistic understanding of marketing as a business resource, which means an emphasis on action.”

When it comes to creating action where before there was mere motivation, nothing can beat the power of ritual.

Brand Rituals: ISBN 9780984633708