A branding constellation study An exploration on the usefulness of applying the systems constellation technique to identify branding problems
Presentation • Introduction researcher Example: New Coke • Knowledge gap in branding / application logic • Branding constellation steps / model • Study aim and questions • Validity and reliability propositions • Data design, sources, and limitations • Findings on construct and theoretical validity a.o. • Further research.
Introduction researcher: Wim Jurg • Masters Econometrica, bachelor Psychology (1982) • Branding Constellation Research Program Open University of the Netherlands: 2002 (1/1), 2005 (18/7) • Disseration period: 2001 – 2006 (?) • Disseratation time: two days a week • Dissertation supervisors: Josee Bloemer and Hans Doorewaard from the Radbout University Nijmegen • Hobby: soccer coach (article ZS, Intermedair)
Gap in knowledge on branding research • Example (New Coke 1986) • Problem identification (Yadav & Karonkanda, 1985; Chapman, 1989; Butler, 1995; Gibson, 1998) • Effects of decisions (Yadav & Karonkanda, 1985; Davis & Moe, 1997; Durgee, O’Connor & Veryzer, 1999; Desai, 2002) • Use of metaphors (Aaker and Zaltman) • Systems Thinking (Van der Vorst, 2004)
Application logic of systems constellation technique on planned branding decisions • Brand-as-a-person metaphor • Psychodrama in marketing research (Dichter and Zaltman) • Role of emotion in decision making (Aaker and Zaltman) • Zaltman’s Metaphorical Elicitation Technique
Explorative dissertation study aim • How useful (reliable and valid) • do branders (brand responsibility) • and branding experts • judge the branding constellation technique • to identify branding problems?
Explorative study questions • How can branding problems be identified from a systems perspective? • Are there current branding problem identification technique that are similar? • What characterizes a branding constellation? • How shall ‘usefulness’ be conceptualized? • How do the branding constellations proceed? • What are the opinions of branders and branding experts on the constellations’ usefulness?
Current and Future Customer Elements Current and Future Organizational (Internal) Elements Current Brand Elements Current Brand Equity Current and Future Market Elements BRANDING EQUITY GAP Changing or Adding Brand Element Aspired Brand Equity Current and Future Media, Societal and Stock Elements Constellation design:branding problem systems model
Reliability proposition definitions: assessement to what extent • Coherent reliability: statements of the representatives during the branding constellation-as-executed were consistent • Equivalence reliability: experience statements of the representatives during the branding constellation-as-executed are similar to the ones on the constellation questionnaire • Facilitator / representative reliability: branding constellation-as-executed was unbiased by the facilitator / representative • Test-retest reliability: experience statements of the representatives during the branding constellation-as-executed are similar to the ones on the constellation questionnaire
Validity proposition definitions: assessement to what extent • Construct validity: branding constellation-as-executed represents the branding constellation-as-ideally-executed • Content validity: branding constellation-as-executed generated systemic branding problem insights that were considered intuitively true • Criterion validity: branding constellation-as-executed fitted findings of ‘proven’ valid instruments • Theoretical validity: branding constellation-as-executed was in line with (marketing) theory
Data design • Qualitative research: stacking-up comparable cases • Theoretical / purposeful sampling: Who is ‘ready’ for something new? • Three ‘ethical’ agreements: no-competitors, no-harm agreement, and freedom of destruction • Three settings: 3 branding-expert seminars (7 const.), 2 branders-only (7), 5 brand-lay ones (7), and 2 branders-only-other facilitator (5)
Data sources • 25 branders’ constellation questionnaires • 25 branders’ e-mail questionnaires • 25 constellation transcripts of 15 branders • 10 introspective branders’ case studies with a.o. diaries and constellation reflections • 10 branders’ interviews • 10 reflections for an expert forum • 50 branding experts’ constellation questionnaires • 48 branding experts’ e-mail questionnaires
Two important ‘limitations’ • Facilitator’s ignorance of brand knowledge • Branders and branding experts believed in tacit (subconscious) knowledge processing.
Theoretical validity • Action Learning (Argyris & Schön, 1978; Donnenberg, 1999) • Field theory (McTaggart, 2001; Laszlo, 2004) • Lateral Thinking (De Bono; Kotler, 2003) • Metaphor theory (Lakoff & Johnson) • Phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty) • Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland, 1981/1990; Flood & Jackson, 1991; Graham & Jahani, 1977; Chapman, 1989) • Theory of Meaning (Weick)
Construct validity: ‘Ideal’ branding constellation • Constellation design: Determination and exact definition + five key branding elements for success of planned branding decision • Diagnosis: Choice of representatives from a present group of people for these key elements, constellation of them physically in the room, and watching and hearing their experiences • Generate ideas on diagnosis / initial constellation • Simulation of planned decision: Choice, constellation, and acceptation conditions of new branding element, and watching and hearing ‘leverage’ experiences • Generate ideas on simulation of planned desicion
Some other construct validity findings • Fieldtheory / spatial metaphor and element consent • Meaningful choice of branding elements • Meaningful choice of the representatives • Impact of ‘autopiese’ • Astonishing, for prudence asking ‘truth’ recognition • Emphasis on branders’ organizational position • ‘Open’ constellation findings similar to ‘hidden’ ones.
Further research • Application with facilitator having brand knowledge • Application to market research companies’ briefing • Application to brand teams • Application to consumer research • Research with brain theorists
Comment PSV-brand advisor • ‘Before we held the knowledge, the earth was already orbiting the sun; the earth did not wait to make its orbits, until mankind understood exactly what was going on and why.’ • www.brandingconstellation.com