Brand Meaning and Personality Exercise

Brand Meaning and Personality Exercise

To have students explore and analyze brand meaning and brand personality using a variety of market research techniques.
Materials needed:
• Exercise worksheets for each student (see attached)
• Each student needs to work with a particular brand – if they are working on projects for the semester, they should use their project brand.

How to run it:
Group students into pairs and distribute the worksheet below.

Tapping into Brand Meaning Exercise

Team up with a classmate and explore brand meaning through the following exercises. As you go through the exercises, think about which ones are offering the most interesting insights. Take turns talking about each of your brands using the different techniques.

1.) Free Association
Ask your partner to write down ten things that pop into their mind when you say your brand. If they have no trouble doing so, ask them to write down five more.

2.) Brand Association Prompts
Ask your partner to fill in the blanks for the following statements:

When I use this brand, I get ________________.

The job that this brand does for me is ____________________.

When I use this brand, I feel ________________.

When I use this brand, I am ________________.

When I use this brand, the type of people I relate to are ________________.

3.) Brand Personality Projection
Ask your partner to answer the following questions and probe with follow up questions to understand their answers and uncover deeper meanings:

If your brand was a person, who would it be?

What demographic traits would it have?

What activities would it enjoy doing?

What personality traits would define it?

What kind of lifestyle would your brand enjoy?

Who would be your brand’s best friend?

If you could have a conversation with your brand, what would the two of you talk about?

What kind of music, movies, television shows would your brand enjoy?

4.) Sensory Techniques
Uncover the sensorial properties of your brand by asking the following types of questions. Remember to probe to understand the deeper brand meaning behind your brand.

What does your brand smell like?

What does your brand sound like?

What does your brand feel like?

What does your brand look like?

What does your brand taste like?

(30 minutes) There are four exercises on the worksheet. Pairs should run through each exercise for each of their brands.
(15 minutes) Come back together as a class and discuss what happened in the pairs.

• Which of the four market research techniques did you find most (least) valuable? Why?
• Which market research techniques would be most valuable to a brand manager? Why?
• How did the type of brand meaning elicited vary across market research technique? Probe for functional vs. emotional, facts vs. attitudes, culturally shared vs. idiosyncratic, marketer authored vs. consumer authored, etc.
• What did you learn about your brand that you didn’t know from your own experience? What surprised you?

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