How Fluent Are You In Branding

In market research, we often talk about the 3 qualities that make for great, profitable brands: Fame, Feeling and Fluency. If your brand comes to mind easily (Fame) it’s a good choice; if your brand evokes positive emotion (Feeling) it’s a good choice; if people recognise your brand and its assets quickly (Fluency) then it’s a good choice. But how to nurture these qualities in your communication? The powerful brand-building role of emotional advertising, once seen as whimsical and wasteful, is now beyond doubt – positive Feeling sticks to brands, amplifies the effectiveness of share of voice and drives long-term market share growth. Emotion also has a role in the short-term, with emotional dynamism (how much change in emotion there is through the course of an ad, measured with our FaceTracing module) predicting more immediate effects for the brand. Where Feeling leads, Fame follows – it’s one of the many rewards for getting the quality and quantity of your marketing right.

So what role for Fluency in advertising – does it even matter how recognisable the brand is in its ads? Yes it can, and simply winning correct brand attribution is, when combined with emotional dynamism, predictive of short-term effectiveness. For the best ads it’s not just if people spot the brand though, it also matters how – and how quickly – they recognise it. Consider a beautiful, emotional digital video, 3 minutes long. It could tell a fantastic, dynamic story, building then resolving tension to leave viewers on an emotional peak at the end, combined with revelation of the brand, perhaps with clear logo and voiceover on an end card. This might work, but it’s very risky. The most obvious problem is that the brand may be concealed for most of the ad and with digital video ads it’s common to see viewers getting no further than 5 seconds into the ad. These views are then pure waste. At the other extreme, an ad may have very clear, explicit branding on show from the start and present throughout. This could force Fluency in the short-term but at the expense of Feeling – direct and heavy branding can depress its long-term brand building potential. Thankfully there are ways to drive both Feeling and Fluency at the same time, in particular the Fluent Device. Whatever the branding strategy there’s a way to check that it’s working with our new FluencyTrace module. Here we don’t just check how many people get the brand but also find out when they do. This second-by-second data can then be layered with emotional data to reveal if branding (whether direct or via distinctive assets and Fluent Devices) is working fluently with Feeling or fighting against it. This 4-Star example from M&M’s is typically strong for the brand – their familiar characters build Feeling and Fluency together, swiftly.

Quantitative measures of Time-weighted Fluency and 5-second Fluency allow for comparisons of branding effectiveness between different ads. As with so many aspects of marketing, it pays to ensure that you make branding fun, fast and easy for your viewers!


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