Researching brands, positioning brands effectively on the market – that is what drives me in the exciting world of marketing. I am a neuropsychologist by training and I see marketing as applied psychology. A brand is intended to promote sales. The brand is a network of associations and, by definition, only exists in our minds. I believe there is no better way to generate sales than a brand that is positioned appropriately and appreciated, thus enabling it to play an important role in the buying process.
I have many years of experience as a researcher and a marketer – in other words, as a supplier and user of insights. For many years I was lucky enough to work with a very attractive, well-known brand of beer. But it could have been in any field; the psychology behind the brand is normally very similar and is always fascinating.
A particularly important aspect for me when I am researching brands is the intuition consumers use. After all, our brains are strongly driven by intuitive forces, usually unconsciously and implicitly. It is fascinating to study the influence of these forces, and the techniques that make this possible are constantly improving. There is no magic about it: we are simply making use of the way our brains work. “Consumers don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say” (David Ogilvy). But does this make it possible to carry out effective research? Yes it does, and at Blauw I like to use this as a motto in the fascinating world of brand research.