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The Scarlet “S” of Segmentation

Looking at how brands affect our subconscious thoughts and feelings provide refreshing insights for all marketers who want to better understand what makes you, me, and the rest of the world tick. Not just for profit but for the sheer fun of getting to know ourselves and our customers as human beings. We are not Affluent Singles, or (my favorite horror) DINKS, meaning Double Income No Kids. These kinds of pigeon holes are artificial designations, known as “segmentations,” to make marketing seem easier, but they lump us into amorphous masses that simply do not align with the way we think of ourselves, our families, or friends and neighbors.

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Brands are a Form of Self-Expression

When I say brands are about feelings, not facts, I’m proposing once again that people make buying decisions based on how what they are buying makes them feel. Does it make them feel more confident, secure, cool, pretty, smart, savvy, or happy? Does it represent their values? Would their friends approve? What do their choices say about them as people?

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Why Everyone In Your Company Should Be the Brand Manager

How customers feel isn’t simply important to the marketing and sales department. Chief executives and their financial counterparts have a vital interest in customers' feelings. It is the job of everybody in your company to court customers who have feelings that could turn him or her into loyal converts for your brand. That is why the most important answer you might ever seek is the answer to the title of my new book: How does it make you feel?

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What’s In A Name?

Learning to distinguish things by name is one of the first cognitive skills we master. As infants, our first language lessons are identifying people and objects by name—“mommy,” “daddy,” “bottle.” When we say a new name, mommy praises how smart we are. It’s no wonder we like names and naming.

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How Does It Make You Feel?

Next time you go to a supermarket to do your regular shopping, watch people get lost to the world as they slowly fill their baskets. Their minds are in a whirl doing a million conscious and unconscious calculations per second. It’s easy to imagine this because you do it, too. That little voice in your head that never shuts up goes a mile a minute as buying decisions based on old stories and new curiosities are made in consultation with the sensible and emotional systems of your brain. It is a totally absorbing, totally human process. And in the end, after all the subliminal cogitation is said and done, it simply has to do with the way you feel about the vast product array before you.

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Three Insights for Better Engaging Shoppers

I’ve been involved in shopper insights and shopper marketing since 1998, when the discipline was first created at Procter & Gamble. Over the years, it has been great to see how far we’ve come from developing shopper strategy to optimizing shopper strategy. Lately, I love that more and more brands are realizing their true competitive advantage through mapping the shopper’s emotion-based purchase decisions.

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Simple Lessons Every CMO Can Learn from Pope Francis

Even the most complex brands get reduced to a few symbols. Sound bites have crushed 2,000 years of the Catholic Church down to pedophile priests and financial scandals. Media coverage of the selection of a new pope suggests the church’s brand is nothing more than a puff of smoke.

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Nikestrong: Brand Opportunity for Nike Post-Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong’s conniving selfishness left Livestrong—his cancer-fighting charity and only redeeming legacy—in an uphill struggle for survival. We don’t expect everyone to be perfect — stuff happens. But we expect people — particularly heroes and leaders — to be authentic and honest. It’s fundamental to human social interaction. Our very survival hinges on trust in others.

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Lessons from Groupon: 3 ways to change how you think about your customers

We’ll spare you any commentary on Groupon’s business model, accounting irregularities or stock market misadventures. But it’s hardly surprising news to hear Founder and CEO Andrew Mason’s tenure has expired faster than a Groupon for a cheap haircut.

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Long Sleep the King

When Burger King dethroned their creepy plastic-headed mascot last summer, nary a tear was shed throughout the realm. Females cheered, moms rejoiced and marketers wondered, “What took them so long?”

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