Isn’t that the point of (traditional) branding i.e. to provide a shortcut to decision making for consumers of products? If we had to take into account such context wouldn’t it completely slow down all our decision making processes?
I am not agreeing its correct to do this BTW rather suggesting that most people don’t actively think about context but rather respond almost instictively based upon previous experience and that this is what ‘branding’ exploits?
Yes brands can be shortcuts. If I buy a designer label jacket I guess I’m saving myself the bother of learning some fashion sense. And of course we need shortcuts, generalisations etc to get through life. As Paul says, we can’t spend our lives testing the context for all the actions we take. That’s why my mantra is simple principles, lightly held.
Of course, lies are often a shortcut too. So a person might decide he won’t open the whole can of worms about how tired he is of a friend’s company, he’ll make up some excuse about being busy tonight. I don’t know about you, but I find over time that lying gets to be hard work. Systemically and longer term, I think the truth is a better shortcut.
What’s happening to brands is that transparency means that if your shortcut is baloney, it’s highly likely that someone, somewhere is going to spot it and say so. Hopefully that will means brands will adapt to be more reliable shortcuts than they have in the past.
Of course truth is relative blah blah, not everyone shares opinions yadda yadda, but you get my drift right?