Tag Archives: consumers


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What is my apperception of this?

How is brand content, which now dominates marketing communications, managing to match its most engaging media?  And how does a key audience specifically use the content that the brand is communicating?  There is a prevailing truth now that making a brand relevant is as uncertain as our ever-changing technology.

An answer to these questions is not yet very clear.  Instead, brands are challenged to respond to the reality that it is hard to determine whether a consumer is engaged in utilizing technology or in self-systematizing content.

What then can brand management do to create more relevant engagements?   Are there effective ways to go beyond the quick-click, speed-reading, distracted- listening or watching of new content?  Who is in control of the content?  Do the social networks and media technology receive content, edit it, and make it personal, aka editorial, communicating it in their own likeness to others?  Or are they using content as a direct feed, pickup, and duplication of provided content, aka advertorial, from a myriad of sources?  Can the consumer tell the difference and does it matter?

We might also ask: Can a system be created that will identify the consumer who wants to and then does pass content on to others?  This is a big data-mining question for the brand.

The brand marketer now has to create content that will build engagement with consumers who can and will become the brand’s customers and content sharers.

An interesting term now being used in marketing is “apperception.”  This is a process whereby perceived values of a brand are related to the consumer’s past and present experience with or knowledge of that brand.  The new perception is added to the old perception, which forms a whole new apperception.  This new apperception can be the catalyst for new sharing of content between and among social networking and brand aficionados.

The goal is to develop a brand content driven system that aligns with the consumer’s system to receive and process new content.  This is our ongoing need to connect and establish relationships with our audience.  It is certainly giving us a lot to think about and process, as we ask:

Will engagement be enough?

Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters


Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Are you still the sucker you used to be?

New research was just released that demonstrates a big shift in how consumers buy and what influences their purchase. Traditional ads no longer have the same power to shape consumer opinions as they once did. Amazon (the ultimate cost and quality comparison, along with others) influence consumers more than ever.  The studies were based on the “compromise” effect – (see NYT article below for the full story) are probably now saying to yourself, ho hum… and why is this news?  Well, it took a while for the establishment to document what most of us already know and practice organically.  However, some of the results of the study suggest that digital feedback in the digital world allows marketers to see what works and what doesn’t – what messages are influencing customers and which ones aren’t.  And they can make adjustments accordingly…and very quickly.  This is all very well and good, and excellent support (although the writers and researchers don’t see it from the customers’ point-of-view, so they are still missing the point) for my position that customer-focused information and insight right from the beginning…pre- advertising/marketing/PR efforts and spending, is more valuable than measuring what works after you’ve spent all that time, money and effort and then correcting it.



Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Barneys looks into eliminating catalogs


As we enter the digital market, physical mailers and catalogs are becoming less prevalent to engage the younger more affluent demographic. Barneys New York is focusing more energy to target the younger consumer through digital videos for its Co-Op Line.

The Brand is not eliminating direct marketing and catalogs completely, and they will be offering it for other lines that engage with an older demographic with a “touch and feel” mentality.  However, Co-Op’s Spring Line will be released completely in digital format for the first time.

Currently, Barneys has two videos on its ecommerce site at http://www.barneys.com for both the Men’s and Women’s Co-Op lines.

The videos have a different dynamic than others than consumers might have been accustomed to in the past.  Typically there would be loud music, some dancing/or movement – Barneys’ tried to create some type of interaction with the models such as an interview or more specific movement so consumers can better see how the apparel moves/fits.

While watching the video, consumers are able to click on an article of clothing, which will expand the product and allow them to add it to their shopping cart to checkout at their convenience.

Consumers are also able to scroll through different looks, which are accompanied by the designer’s name.

Promotion for this launch was done though email as well as social media outreach to connect with their direct clientele.

Opportunities for this outreach are endless, especially when it comes to relatability.  Models could essentially be anyone that their target customer could connect with, which would create appeal for those particular products.


Dalia Strum teaches SXF 120: Blogging Smarts for Business.