the brand scan

One day, my 8 year old asked me to buy a product because he said I could win a valuable prize pack with purchase by entering the UPC code online. Huh? He’s 8. Then, a few weeks later, my 5 year old suggested that we buy Fruit Loops because they have 2 grams of fiber. What? Kids today aren’t impervious to anything especially not advertising. In the UK, as I understand it, there are no ads on kids channels. There aren’t any ads on the Knowledge Network or CBC kids or PBS – but Teletoon makes up for that in spades. In fact, by the age of three both my kids recognized the McDonalds and Coca Cola brands. In essence, they could read brands before they could read words. Scary – and a powerful lesson in corporate presence. Just goes to show you how brands penetrate our daily life. So I got to thinking about how brands affect me in my daily life – much of which is spent in the marketing business. And I didn’t have to stray too far to see how branded we are.

Starting in the bathroom – Ivory, Pantene, Gillette, L’Oreal, Colgate, Crest – moving to the laundry room – Tide, Glad, Bounce, Ivory Snow, Clorox (gee – should I really have that stuff in my house after the good work the Shuswap Watershed people have been doing), Windex. Moving to the kitchen – Kraft, Kelloggs, Dairyland, Premium Plus, Sunlight, Electrosol, Campbell’s, Lipton, Ragu, McCains – you get the idea. Hundreds of brands in a single household. Don’t even get me started on the kids room – Lego, Nintendo, Playmobil, Bakugan, Fisher Price – Lego should be in there twice, there’s so much of it, but I digress. Thankfully, the fewest brands are found in our living room – where we spend much of our time – but wait, that’s where the TV is – so we can flip from brand to brand at our TV viewing leisure. Thank goodness the back yard is nearly brand free.

So what does this say about us? A brand, originally, was a mark on a cow’s hide to identify its owner. So, in the case of our household, that’s one heckuva family tree. We own the products, but the brands own us. They probably know more about my shopping habits, household income, and demographic profile (soccer mom perhaps) than I’d care to admit. Can we live without them? Sure we could. In a cave maybe. On the outskirts of nowhere land.

Fact of life. Trick is, if you’re going to be cattle, try and pick a rancher who will, at the very least, let some of the heard in on cold winter nights. Which is why community development is so important in brand awareness. Locally for example, do we shop at Askews because they have the prettiest bags, well, maybe a bit, but it’s mostly because we have a relationship with the brand. They’re neighbours and supporters of community projects. Same goes for SASCU and Skookum and Wearabouts among many others. You can put a price on brand loyalty – and it starts with what you get back for your burn.

2 Responses

  1. […] } Check out Louise’s look at branding in the brand scan on The Blahgg Blog. So I got to thinking about how brands affect me in my daily life – much of […]

  2. Louise!
    Check out “the perfect Mother’s day gift” on Unplug your kids 🙂

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