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A target group is as much about focus as it is about knowing what to rule out. Brands have a tendency to try to please everyone and their dog. Senior management is blinded by the lure of potential revenue that they believe will come from appealing to the masses. This is a mistake. In reality, the more narrow the focus, the more concisely the aspirational target group is defined, the broader it becomes. It’s one of branding’s strange paradoxes.

- Martin Lindstrom
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A majority of consumer respondents (69%) say they frequently or regularly discuss how they feel about a product they bought. Not surprisingly these conversations hold major sway in perception of reputation and future purchase behavior. We found word-of-mouth remains the leading source of influence when it comes to opinion of a company (88%), whether the genesis is online or offline. A subset (83%) cited online reviews as very or somewhat influential on consumer opinion about companies. Advertising (56%) lagged pointing to more limited impact…

Source: forbes.com

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Through the interface, it is increasingly easy to see how a company behaves, the actions it takes, what it says, and how it responds, reacts, or hides. This transparency demands that a brand be more consistent, responsive, communicative, and social. As a result, the brand becomes more dimensional and, in effect, more human.

To maintain a brand’s value in the future, one must begin by understanding the basics of cognitive psychology — how people judge human consistency and anomalies of character, and how people perceive human relationships. This reveals greater understanding of how to achieve consistency beyond repetition. Consistency is still at the heart of a brand’s value, but in this fluid and agile world, repetition cannot be the only rule.

Consistency in human behavior is not derived from repetition alone; it is about the formation and recognition of coherent patterns. Patterns are the way our brains perceive actions, thoughts, memory, and behavior to ultimately inform belief.

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