A Brand is something that exists Inside the Consumer Mind:
- The physical product is combined with Symbols, Images and Feelings to produce an idea which is more than the physical product itself.
- The two, Product and Symbolism, live and grow in the Consumer mind in a partnership of mutual exchange.
- We understand, and deconstruct this relationship, and put it back together in ways that enhance its value.
Concepts of branding vary by market:
- In their initial stages, they are merely stamps of recognition and ownership. Later, they become signals of reputation and quality.
- Subsequently, brands are embedded in Consumer lifestyles, badging and communication.
- Brands at this stage are like language, signifying who you are or who you are not.
There has been change from the purely ‘mechanistic’ view of why people buy things as objectives, to the more ‘organic’ view that brands are not ‘things’ but characters, personalities and symbols with meanings which are often very deeply embedded in people’s lives:
- Brand Relationships bind consumers and brands together, and are analogous to human relationships.
- Consumers in positive Brand Relationships project a positive ‘halo’ around the brand, attribute it with superior product qualities, tolerate its shortcomings, believe in its extensions, feel guilty when they stray, and often are prepared to pay more for it.
- These brands taste better, smell better, look better, sound better, and work more effectively!
Brand Relationships can break down when Consumers change, aspire, leapfrog to new values, or when trusted products change. The ‘spell’ is broken. Consumers then devalue the brand’s physical properties, resent its previous hold, ridicule it, or reject its users.
It is therefore vital to monitor the deep seated emotions that influence the Consumer Brand Relationship.
2010 QRi Consulting was founded after CRAM International® and QiQ International® were merged following the passing of Peter Cooper (Chairman & CEO of CRAM International & QiQ International). QRi is headed up by Simon Patterson who was Managing Director of CRAM International and Director of QiQ International.
QRi continues to uphold and build upon the CRAM and QiQ legacy of getting ‘Inside the Consumer Mind’TM.
Peter Cooper, and his colleagues at CRAM, pioneered the internationalisation of in-depth qualitative research from the early 80’s, writing and presenting many ground-breaking papers for the international market research community. In recognition of Peter Cooper’s significant contribution to international qualitative research, QRi Consulting instigated and Sponsor the ESOMAR Best Qualitative Paper – Peter Cooper Excellence Award.
The 2017 Award will be presented by Simon Patterson in Porto (5-7 November) at the ESOMAR Global Qualitative 2017.
1968 Cooper Research and Marketing (CRAM) was founded in Manchester, UK, by Peter Cooper and Jackie French. CRAM specialised in in-depth Qualitative Research, which was grounded in Consumer Psychology.1976 CRAM opened its London Office, initially in Wimpole Street .
1978 CRAM moved to 53 St Martins Lane, WC2, and in the same year registered ECGs® (Extended Creativity Groups).
1983 Peter Cooper and Judy Lannon present their seminal Humanistic Advertising – A Holistic Cultural Perspective at the ESOMAR Seminar on Effective Advertising, in Monte Carlo.
1986 The company changed its name to CRAM International due to the growing demand, in Europe and internationally, for their specialist research methods (including Projective techniques, ECGS® and Psychodrawing).
1987 CRAM International worked with Unilever pioneering the fusion of qualitative and quantitative methods known as QualiQuant®.
2000 With the emergence of the internet, QualiQuant® was taken online and sister agency QiQ International, was established with John Pawle as Managing Director.