The branding constellation A new metaphorical systems technique to identify branding problems
Presentation • Introduction researcher • Identification of branding problems as e.g. New Coke • Metaphorical technique from ‘psychotherapy’ and its application to the identification of branding problems • Study aim and questions • Methodology and propositions • Findings and limitations • Discussions and implications
Introduction researcher: Wim Jurg • Open University of the Netherlands: 1990 - • Disseration period: 2001 – 2006 (?) • Disseratation time: two days a week • Dissertation supervisors: Josee Bloemer and Hans Doorewaard from the Radbout University Nijmegen • Masters Econometrica, bachelor Psychology (1982) • Hobby: soccer coach
Gap in knowledge on branding research • 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, Zaltman, Miles & Huberman, 1994; O’Malley & Patterson, EMAC 2005; - Lakoff & Johnson) • Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland, 1981/1990; Flood & Jackson, 1991; - Graham & Jahani, 1977; Chapman, 1989)
Application of systems constellation technique on planned branding decisions • Origin: Hellinger’s family constellation and Moreno’s psychodrama • Idea: experiences of people intuitively positioned by clients as representatives of family members helps clients to identify their problem situation • Development: a.o. organization constellation • Application logic: a.o. brand-as-a-person metaphor, a.o. Aaker and Zaltman’s propagation of using metaphors and psychodrama in working with branders
Six main steps in branding constellations • Determine and define + five key branding elements for success of planned branding decision • Choose representatives from a present group of people for these key elements, and constellate them physically in the room (present situation) • Compare experiences of representatives and reality • Choose representative for new branding element and constellate it too (simulation of future situation) • Compare experiences of representatives and reality • Incubate
Explorative study aim • How useful • 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? • How can metaphorical techniques be described? • What characterizes a branding constellation? • How shall ‘usefulness’ be conceptualized? • How do branding constellations proceed? • What are the opinions of branders and branding experts on the constellations’ usefulness?
Methodology • Branding constellation seminars: 15 lay seminars, 4 branders-only, and 3 branding expert seminars • 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
Data design • Branders’ constellation quest. on generated insights • Branders’ e-mail quest. on incubated insights, face falsification, reliability, and validity, interviews • Seven introspective branders’ studies • Branding experts’ constellation questionnaire on experiences and theoretical validity of the metaphor • Branding experts’ e-mail questionnaire using criticical incident technique, and scaling face falsification, reliability, and validity
Explorative findings: opinions Branders Experts • Relevance ++/+ ++ • Falsification +/-- +/-- • Reliability +/-- +/-- • Validity +/-- +/-- • Timeliness ++/+ ++/+ • Ease of use ++ ++
Two important limitations • Facilitator’s ignorance of brand knowledge • Branders and branding experts believed in subconscious knowledge processing.
Discussion of previous research findings • Franke (1996): advantage of constellation is in visual information it produces, complementary to verbal information normally worked with • Höppner (2001): constellation improves the client’s self-image and psychic state • Gminder (2005): constellation helps to get a clear overview of complex interrelationships, and stimulates changes.
Discussion of some remarkable ‘facts’ • Meaningful choice of branding elements • Meaningful choice of the representatives • Astonishing, for prudence asking ‘truth’ recognition • Emphasis on branders’ position in the organization • Consumer brand findings similar to industrial ones • ‘Open’ constellation findings similar to ‘hidden’ ones
Implication: further research seems useful • Replication study • More conclusive, experimental design • Application with facilitator having brand knowledge • Application to market research companies’ briefing • Application to brand teams • Application to consumer research • Involving sociometrists, neuroscientists, and field 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.’ • brandingconstellation.com