Today I've been working on a strategy to position a new brand I'm helping to launch.

I was discussing with the team how important this part of the process is.

I asked them to tell me the brands that their target audience would associate with, or would 'represent' them, in some way.

You may associate yourself as a BMW driver, a Marks & Spencer shopper or a Rolex wearer... And you probably measure (at least part of) your own 'value' by the brands you choose to align yourself with.

When we buy a product or service, it's rarely just to solve a practical problem. There'll nearly always be some kind of ego-validation going on, somewhere.

For example, think of the shoes you're wearing now (or the last pair you wore).

They're probably 100% practical for the task you were doing. There would be embellisments and 'style' added in to make you 'want' to buy them over all the other pairs in the shop.

I bet that you favour a certain brand of trainers don't you? Possibly because a famous sports star wore them? (This is association).

Maybe you like a certain fashion brand because Kim Kardiashian was papped wearing them. (Again, association).

Maybe you like to wear footwear branded with your favourite football team's logo. (Yup, association).

You see where I'm going with this?

We associate so much value to how we are perceived by others that we will buy certain brand because we feel that by associating with them, their value and perception rubs off on us.

So, if you're building a brand, why not use this idea? Try to think of 10 brands that your target customer would aspire to own or be associated with.

Look at the style of photography they use to show their products.

Consider the colour palettes used. Are they warm, cool, bright or pastel? 

And with regard to logo design, it could be the style of typeface used or how complex the illustration or decorative elements are.

This information will give you key insights into the minds of the people you're trying to reach.


Really try to imagine your customers as people. Picture their world and how they navigate it.

List the things they like, dislike and try to spot patterns and themes that could be used in your projects.

The technique you're using here is the 'power of association'. 

You're appropriating aspects or elements of brands that your customers are 'warmed-up' to your message.

This shortens the time it takes them to know, like and trust you.

Then it's only a matter of time until they're ready to buy from you.