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BusinessWorld, 4 December 2001
Copyright Financial Times Information Limited

Branding techniques in the future mean veering away from the rational and moving towards the emotional. For a brand to sell in the future, branding expert Paul Temporal said there should be an emotional relationship between the brand and the consumer.

"Everyone likes to be respected and valued. The brands of the future are going to have to demonstrate this more," he said. He said the usual branding techniques, such as merely differentiating one brand from another in terms of quality and features, no longer work.

"All the things that used to be good are no longer valid. They don't differentiate anymore. Everyone can copy, be it technology, product or service," he said. The only way to differentiate in this situation is on brand image and a more personalised approach, he said.

Different strokes
Mr. Temporal said the advertiser will have to realise that there are many different target markets, "all wanting different things from brands."

"To get a positive brand image, you really have to get close to the consumer and establish an emotional connection by understanding what they really want, tailoring things specifically for them and entering into a dialogue rather than a monologue," he said.

"In the past, it was advertise, advertise, advertise. Now it's all about dialogue," he added.

To get close to their consumers, some advertisers have established feedback mechanisms to allow constant dialogues and track down how well their brands are doing. Umbrella branding still work, though, especially if the umbrella brand enjoys the confidence and trust of the consumers, Mr. Temporal said.

Nestle, for instance, endorses each of its over 1,000 products. "That's because Nestle enjoys the trust of the consumers. Whenever they have a new product, they need only to declare that it's from Nestle," he said.

Pedro N. Dy-Liacco, senior vice-president and director for communications of Nestle Philippines, Inc. agreed that the brand has to be very close to the consumer. "Otherwise, how can you build trust? It's a love affair. You have to sustain that relationship (between the brand and the consumer)," he said.

Mr. Dy-Liacco said the consumer now has a wider range of options. "When the consumer watches television, he does not focus on just one programme. He surfs the TV. The risk is that nobody will watch your ad. So we have to reach the consumer through multiple points of contact."

"Besides, the consumer today does not just stay at home. The consumer is also at the mall and on the road. The idea is to catch the consumer where he or she is. That's why we see a lot of outdoor advertising. Even in the rest rooms of the hotels and restaurants now, we see advertisements. We need advertising to be pervasive," he added.

Messrs. Temporal and Dy-Liacco were in Cebu for the recently concluded 17th Philippine Advertising Congress.