What is the Purpose of a Brand?

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We are often under the illusion that customers only want the best result, but actually, that’s not always the case. In this Vlog, Grant explains what customers really want.

What is the purpose of a brand?


To demonstrate value?

Well they’re all part of it, but ultimately the purpose of a brand is to make it easy for a customer to buy.

You see, there’s only a certain amount of thinking time we’re prepared to give to a purchase. It’s called cognitive inertia. Let me explain.

For example, my wife sends me to the shops and one of the things on her shopping list is tomato soup. So I walk into my local supermarket and there’s 128 different types of tomato soup on the shelf. Really, if I wanted the best outcome I could go through all 128 looking at the ingredients, tasting them to make sure I got exactly the right tomato soup for the Leboff household.

But I’m not going to do that because I haven’t got the time.

Cognitive Inertia says I’m only going to give a certain amount of time to dedicate to buying tomato soup. So what do I do? I look at Campbell’s and Heinz, the two I know, and grab one of those, and it’s fine. It will do.

You see, we are often under the illusion that customers want the best result, but actually, they don’t. They want a satisfactory result in the time they’re willing to give to the purchase.

It’s Cognitive Inertia that makes branding so important.

You see, branding provides customers with a shortcut to making a purchasing decision.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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    1. Author

      Thank you Richard. You are right, this message is often forgotten. I am glad you found the vlog useful.

  1. Good post on most counts!
    BUT on the scenario you refer to ie being sent to the shop by Mrs LeBoff – how can there be any Cognitive Inertia?
    There is only ONE answer to which soup to buy – ask the wife!
    Whichever soup YOU choose will be the wrong one!! Even if you have the bright? idea of buying her favourite, you will be told that she was ready for a change or that you don’t have any imagination or that….etc etc.
    Even not knowing Mrs Leboff, this, albeit sexist, remark has to be accurate.
    On reflection a simpler solution is to tell her to do the shopping….but of course divorces are expensive!

    1. Author

      Hi Adrian, thank you for your amusing comment. I will treat it in the spirit it is intended and agree. Ultimately, the right answer is to ask the wonderful Mrs Leboff. Thanks 🙂

  2. “Bleeding’ Obvious” when you put it like that Grant…but great insights usually are!

    Another Friday .. another nugget.

  3. OK, but what to do to remaining 126 brands, so they are in consumers list of Cognitive Inertia? 🙂

    1. Author

      I like the question! That is the power of having a target market. Maybe a particular brand is well known and trusted amongst a certain group.

      Of course, whether it is within a narrow target market, or a wider audience, brand awareness is powerful.

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