pondělí, března 06, 2006

The "33 Factor"

By now notorious Rolling Rock Beer boasts an equally notorious urban myth about the enigmatic number 33 on the back of its label. I just wanted to point this out in our local Czech context where very few brands recognize the importance of brand mystery as an essential branding ingredient. With a new generation of brand managers - predominantly local - who have been treated to an MBA quick fix - the mechanistic paradigm is being re-introduced in the Czech marketing practice. For this new breed of brand managers (not so new, and, in fact, not limited to the Czech market) consumers are rational decision-making machines who should be subject to trivial persuasion language: "Buy brand X because it features Y which brings you benefit Z." There's no space for mystery. A very important element of this mechanistic paradigm is the role managers assign to research. Rather than seeing it as a way to learn about consumers, their motivations, preferences, their life-strategies, the cultural context, research is being assigned the role of a courthouse which makes the thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision on marketing projects.

Now, back to the "33 Factor": Could it ever have come to life in a focus group?