Noah Brier, author of a very interesting and diverse blog, has created a very cool visualization tool at brandtags.net. If you’re into branding, you’ll be into this. Users can view a sort of “word cloud” containing dozens or hundreds of words submitted one at a time by other users in response to views of randomly displayed logos. The larger words in the cloud are those that were used more commonly.
Thus I type in “Crayola”, a brand we are currently working with, and see that the major concepts associated with the brand logo are:
All of these words fit nicely with the brand profile contained in the company’s background material to us. (Mysteriously, “Banana” is also ranked highly. Go figure.)
Goldforest has always said that a brand is not born upon product introduction, but rather when a shared experience and vision, including descriptive terms, begins to emerge. Clearly this Web site reflects the shared vision of thousands of visitors.
While brand managers like the folks at Crayola cannot be sure if brandtags visitors represent a meaningful cross section of target customers, they can use a site like this to learn quickly the words and concepts people associate with their brand; just as importantly, they can also take note of words that aren’t listed.
This is not a substitute for formal research, but if your budget’s limited (and whose isn’t these days), it’s a great place to start!