Thursday, August 28, 2008

An ink blot test for brands

Web-entrepreneur Noah Brier launched Brand Tags 5 months ago as an 'experiment' to get at people's perspectives - in a single word or phrase - of brands. In other words, quickly, what's your knee-jerk to Brand X?

The site compiles all the responses and prioritizes them by prominence. Sort of a real-time consumer litmus for brands.

Perceptions are fascinating of the many things I love about this business. And, as Brand Tags shows, they can undoubtedly be a source of frustration for many company brand-keepers. For example, hit "Cadillac" to discover one of the most prominent words associated with the luxury brand is "Chrysler." Ouch.

Compare a few competing brands. Look at Toyota vs. GM vs. Ford vs. Honda. Now there's a spectrum. Look at CNN vs. Fox News. Budweiser vs. Corona. Maybe there aren't a lot of surprises in the results, but they hit squarely between the peepers in this format.

My personal favorite: 'Camaro' = 'mullet.'