Brands typically launch a number of products during the course of their lives. Needless to say a large number of them are supported with campaigns. The products of course could be variants, new products or another category under the same mother brand.
Now when brands are creating communication for any campaign they go to great lengths to ensure all the varied pieces straddled across time and media come together to create one beautiful picture and deliver the brand message to the target consumer.
At this juncture I shall introduce a concept from physics called decay. Explained in layman terms, it refers to the behaviour of a signal for convenience say sound. A signal that is generated does not have a sudden death once the broadcast ceases, it remains alive gradually losing intensity over time (refer figure).
What does that have to do with our discussion? Well if we were to juxtapose the logic to communication that brands send out. We could argue that long after the campaign has stopped there is still bound to be a residue of that communication. Perhaps the reason why brands remain in the collective memory if not the collective consciousness. It is this residue that feeds brands long after they are gone. Going a step forward it is this that makes it a challenge when brands want to reposition themselves.
Now unless a brand wants to replace a new message with an existing one communication residues are something that can be used to a brands advantage. They can well serve as a springboard for your next and then your next communication. The caveat is congruence.
There aren’t many, but there are enough examples of brands that have leveraged “ad memory” and built on it. The subconscious mind stores a plethora of messages only to draw them when triggered. Here’s an attempt to present a few.
The important aspect to note is that the brands took the story forward with each of these communications that were spread over time. Some over a short time some over an extended period. However, they all used a common thread to move their stories forward. Some depicted the progress of the protagonist made in life or love, others retained a core ingredient like an audio element, while some attired their central character in a certain way to show changing times. Regardless, they all took their messages deeper into the minds of their respective consumers.
At the end of the day all branding exercises are a battle for a space in the consumers mind, so why waste the space you already made!