Branding Mechanisms

22nd July 2015

Our coworking space is made up of a very diverse community, so six months ago we decided to divide the community into different collectives. We had two objectives; one was to create a peer to peer learning platform and the second was to formalise THECUBE’s research and development offering.

For the the last six months the branding collective has been discussing the future of branding and dissecting the core mechanisms of interesting organisations. Each member of the collective chose a brand to dissect its core mechanisms, below is the summary.

Mechanism 1// The simplification of a complex human systems

When looking at highly successful tech brands like Tinder, they were able to take complex human behaviour and reduce to to one simple task. In the case of Tinder, they reduced dating, courtship, flirting, etc. to a yes/no swipe.

Mechanism 2// One core offering

Each brand we dissected did one thing really well and there was clarity in that function. Many tech brands go under due to too many functions. People need to know quickly what you do so they can make a quick decision about your brand. The longer it takes people to understand what your brand does the less they will engage. Our attention has changed, so we need brands to be clear and simple. You can add complexity later, but you have to start with one core offering and one simple task of engagement. Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, they all started with one core offering and simple task.

Mechanism 3// Use of subculture

There is now a rise of subcultures rapidly eliminating a macro culture. Smart brands are understanding how to speak to these subcultures in order to sell to them as well as turning them to brand advocates. The most powerful part of identifying and using subcultures is the ability for a brand to have a seamless relationship with their target audience. In other words you cannot see the difference between brand and user. For example, Nike, they use instagram to infiltrate running subcultures and clubs. Every time a runner is doing a race, they instagram their race kit. The tradition is grassroots and driven by consumers, but it is a full advertisement for Nike. Nike in return rewards prolific instagram runners with free kit, which then gets promoted, creating a seamless feedback loop between brand and user.

Mechanism 4// Silent Branding

This is highly effective as the consumer has much more insight on their perspective and meaning of a brand than the brand itself. For example, to some Tinder is a dating app for others it is a hookup app. Tinder lets the user decide what the brand means to them and has remained silent, the don’t have any social media presence or advertisement space. Tinder lets their users do all of the talking for them. This is especially clever and interesting in a time when most brands cannot seem to make enough noise.

Mechanism 5// One clear tech task

This more specific to apps, you have to give one clear and simple task tied to your app. For example, Facebook has the “like button”, Tinder as the “swipe”, Instagram has “filter”, etc. That seems to create a strong mind/body connection. The cognitive task  ( find a friend, share picture, etc) combined with the physical task create a strong memory and associative connection.