Without brands people will do what they have always done

Open the cupboard under the kitchen sink and check out the cleaning products there.

Ask how many of these came from observing what a friend used, or what our parents used?

You are bound to find that represents the majority. In fact, we simply do what our peers or parents have done, until marketing convinces us otherwise.

Youth marketing is considered powerful because this is the period when family patterns can be broken and many brand choices are made and set for life. Not surprisingly, brands such as, Coca Cola and Pepsi invest almost all their marketing in the youth segment.

Brand preferences can last within families for generations, take for instance the yellow soap invented in 1885, aptly named ‘Sunlight’. So delighted were the sun starved English families, with ‘Sunlight’, that it evolved into the corporation Unilever, now one of the largest firms in the world.

So how does a brand create trial and break through the pattern that “people will do what they have always done”?

Contrary to popular belief, a brand cannot make “people want what they don’t want”, like a brain washing effect.

Caution though, while a brand cannot make people “want what they don’t want”, it can act manipulatively by playing into people’s insecurities, known as the dark side of branding.

Now for the good news. A brand can’t make people want it, but it can become something that people want, known as the light and wholesome side of branding.

So how do you make your brand, one that people want, in a light and wholesome way?

You first need to understand the sweet spot. A brand promise aims at a customer’s sweet spot with a promise to take a customer closer to their ideal self.

In order to get to hit a customer’s sweet spot,  you will have to do some digging. The digging needs to unearth, who they want to be, and who they are today, and what they want to think and feel about that difference.


When you hit that sweet spot and  use it  to build emotional connections between your customer and your brand, shazam…., you will have won yourself  a customer.


Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds


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