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Date published: 14th June 2010 Article

Brands Compete for Emotional Survival

Brands compete for “Emotional Survival” in the minds of consumers…as well as economic survival in market.

The Findings

Mind the competition! Brands compete both in market and in mind. Sponsorships & Product Placement strategies can be powerful mechanisms to build Emotional Brand Equity.

Successful Sponsorships will also have an effect on a competitors brand in the minds of consumers.

A groundbreaking insight reveals how brands compete in the minds of consumers. Neuro-Insight Pty Ltd has used brain activity measures (neuromarketing) to investigate the impact of sports sponsorship and product placement. ‘We found that sports sponsorship increased the brain measures that indicated the strength of the brand and positive brand associations in the consumer’s brain’ said Peter Pynta, Neuro-Insight’s Marketing Director. We refer to this Emotional Brand Strength as ‘Brand Salience’.

‘What we found fascinating was the effect of sponsorship and product placement on the competitor brands who were not featured in the program.’ ‘We found that if a brand increases its strength as a result of sponsorship or product placement, the competitor’s brand strength was weakened.’ ‘Not only do brands compete in the marketplace but they also compete in the consumer’s brain’.

This has very important consequences to an organisations’ competitive intelligence framework. Knowing how Brand Salience is influenced, will lead to more strategic decisions about:

  • Relevant brand association with events & telecast sponsorships,
  • The most effective moments of branding in broadcasts,
  • The timing of brand activity around sponsorships, &
  • The relative value of exclusivity within a category.

We observed a similar result when Neuro-Insight was commissioned by the Martin Lindstrom to undertake the world’s largest neuromarketing study that is described in his latest book “Buyology – Truth and Lies About Why We Buy’ (Doubleday 2008). This study involved some 2000 recordings from audiences in Europe, USA, Japan and China. Various tests were commissioned in this global study, including the analysis of Pilot Studies for TV programs and integrated TV sponsorships.

‘The outcomes in Buyology are consistent with the results we’ve been tracking for some time now’, said Pynta. ‘Major sporting events like the Olympics, Tennis, Cricket & AFL have proven to be very successful in building Brand Salience (Emotional Brand Equity) for certain brands. When you consider what happens to the competition’s Brand Salience, a much clearer definition is placed on the power of sponsorship and product placement’. This neuro intelligence sheds fresh light on an area that has long been a “competitive blind spot” in evaluating marketing activity of this type.

Television networks are increasingly working with clients & agencies to drive the benefits of sponsorship by using Brand Salience metrics. Commenting on how the Nine Network Australia is working with sponsors of broadcast sport…‘It will allow marketing strategists the opportunity to work with broadcasters to generate the best functional integration of a clients brand at the height of viewer engagement’ said Steve Weaver, Network Research Director. ‘It allows a new evaluation based on viewer engagement to determine the total impact of the combination of event and broadcast sponsorship…the ‘multiplier effect’ of various elements working together’.

Brand Salience

Brand Salience is Emotional Brand Equity – The strength of the network of favourable emotional memories, including a sense of familiarity, associated with a brand.