Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Brand Identity=Your Identity. Didn't You Know?

I just got a call from a consumer survey group, which—well, I don't know how they got my cell phone number, but it was probably because I filled out a bunch of forms on the internet, and now I'm kicking myself. A highly disinterested-sounding (and rightly so) phone rep asked me questions about my brand choices, settling on the topic of cigarettes. I'm a light smoker—a pack a month, maybe—so I treat myself to cigarettes that don't make me foul-smelling and vaguely nauseated: Nat Shermans, about $8 a pack. The rep didn't recognize the brand name, but proceeded to ask me questions about Marlboro and Camel, including:

"Which brand is a fun brand?"
"Which brand is always introducing new products?" (Is that good or bad?)

and the best of the bunch:

"Which brand helps you express your individuality?"

My response: "Definitely neither."

I have a whole bunch of thoughts about the way in which "individuality" is a notion that's been coopted by branding, but right now I'm too gobsmacked to be articulate. Which brand helps you express your individuality, indeed.


Ms. MiniDucky said...

You're not completely convinced that anything you consume is a direct reflection of your social worth? Really? Hmm ... the marketing gurus everywhere have failed a little bit today.

;) So many surveys and ads are aimed at eliciting a viscerally positive must-have emotion these days, it's rather discomfiting, really.

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