Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's a Brand?

Campbell's Soup Cans
Originally uploaded by freshwater2006
Let's deconstruct a famous one: the most well known brand of soup in North America. (I will spare you the drum roll.)

When anyone who knows this brand buys a tin of the soup they sense the following things:
  • the food will be safe, palatable and acceptable for almost anyone of almost any age
  • there will be nothing in the least surprising about the product: no unusual flavours, textures or ingredients
  • no cooking skill will be required, just add liquid, heat and eat
Note the connotations of the brand name itself. Cognoscenti will recognise it as an Irish or Scottish surname but most North Americans perceive it as a 'vanilla' surname. Likewise almost no 'foreign' or exotic words are used to name the soups, and this particular packaging is not used for desserts or entrées. The owners of the brand are careful about protecting its meaning.

If you pick up a tin of soup by accident it will not be a highly spiced 'Manta Ray Surprise'.

Now, what's your brand?