Sunday, August 23, 2015

Can Your Brand Pass the Cool-Test?

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined his pornography-test by saying, "I know it when I see it."

Consumers also rely on Stewart's standard when judging whether a brand is cool, according to Professors Margaret Campbell and Caleb Warren.

Their article in the Journal of Consumer Research, "What Makes Things Cool," pinpoints five cool-tests for a brand:
  • Cool is whatever consumers think is cool
  • Cool is distinct from simply likable
  • Cool expresses self-styled independence
  • Cool grants social standing
  • Cool varies by consumers' ages
Because cool is subjective, it's hard for brand marketers to anticipate consumer response to their products and promotions. 

But, based on their studies, the professors believe there are three ways for a brand to pass the cool-tests. A cool brand must:
  • Portray itself as rebellious, but in a nice way (endorsing personal, but never political, revolution)
  • Associate with cool spokespeople
  • Introduce innovative products and product packaging
Can your brand pass the cool-test?
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