from Marketing Memetics, by Michael Taylor
A brand is a combination of mutually beneficial memes – a memeplex – formed in the consumers mind. Much of a brand’s perception evolves naturally, through experience with the product. However many memes associated with a brand are crafted deliberately by marketers, with the goal of increasing consideration at the time of purchase. If a brand’s memes are too radically different from existing associations in the brain, they won’t feel familiar. You’ll lose potential customers to confusion. If you adorn the entrance to your rock venue with sparkly fairy lights, you’d be sending mixed signals to heavy metal fans.
However if all products in a category tap into the same memeplex, there’s no way to differentiate one competitor from another. One path to solving this, is to employ memes that work for your target segment in a different product category. Hotel Chocolat took inspiration for its brand not from fellow chocolatiers, but from high-end fashion. It advertised in Vogue and designed its packaging accordingly, to capture the part of the market that values beautiful design.
We see this almost everywhere a new challenger brand is described as ‘innovative’. Monzo Bank’s stand out ‘hot coral’ card reportedly came from the color of their designer’s Nike sneakers. Slack’s friendly design was inspired by styles common in the gaming industry. Even Jobs’ much vaunted design of the Mac was inspired by a Cuisinart Blender. “Originality is the art of concealing your source.” – Joad ...and Einstein, Bushnell, Chanel, O’Brien, Jones, Moore, Sterling, Sedelmaier, etc.
CASE STUDY: Hotel Chocolat
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