Measuring Distinctive Assets. The human brain is a complex and utterly fascinating thing. For many years, marketers and researchers have tried to understand the mechanism behind consumers’ behavior and thinking. Evidence from neuropsychology teaches us that people make decisions based on two different processes or even referred to as systems. Type 1 processes are intuitive, fast, unconscious, automatic, effortless and error prone; while type 2 processes are slow, conscious, controlled and require a lot of effort. The majority of our decisions are made using type 1 processes, where we use heuristics or short cuts to lead our behavior.
Marketing and marketing research still tend to focus on type 2 processes when influencing and analyzing consumer behavior. Just consider the example of measuring brand strength, where we give participants a list of brand benefits and ask them to rate each item rationally and individually to then evaluate the overall brand performance. Not surprisingly, self-reported measures (i.e. explicit measures) represent one of the most important research tools to measure people’s attitudes, perceptions and behavior. And this makes perfect sense; why not simply ask people what they do and why they do certain things. Yet people are often unwilling or unable to provide accurate details of their own behavior. This is why in the past years implicit research techniques have gained momentum in fields like applied market research. These techniques not only allow to get answers to questions that are difficult (if not impossible) to ask directly, these measures also give another view on consumer’s thoughts and feelings.
For brands following penetration thinking, the tracking of distinctive assets is a core part of their brand performance measurement. This is also what we do for brands like Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Mastercard, where we track the performance of their key identity elements against competing brands. With our Implicit Measurement tool we’re able to identify the extent to which brand attributes (logos, colors, tag lines and sound bites) are distinctive and associated strongly and uniquely with brands.