A new science to systematically unpack how the market sees your category through multiple sensory domains on a grand scale

your investment in communication and innovation is blind and that’s a fact

Would you invest in something blind?

Would you go on holiday to a location without knowing the weather? Unlikely. Would you invest in a stock without knowing its history and the key trends it has followed? No. 

And yet every company invests blindly in it’s category and that’s not hyperbole, it’s a fact. We don’t know how our consumers and customers perceive our category, we’ve been seduced into thinking we do because we haven’t had access to the true facts. You can change this now for the first time in history but let’s take you on a brief scientific marketing tour to help you see why you don’t know how people perceive your category and that means you can’t communicate with resonance and you really have no idea where you should innovate.

Why brand tracking is a fallacy

Most companies rely on some sort of brand tracking to see how their brand is doing but it’s fundamentally wrong, in fact it’s misleading. Clive Hyland in think, feel, know pointed out a fundamental fact which makes market research totally unreliable and explains why its hopeless at predicting behaviour as most successful entrepreneurs agree. “They want a faster horse” said Ford.  Here are the facts, your conscious brain deals with 7 bits of information a second, your emotional brain around 20 and your unconscious brain between 20,000 and 2 million pieces of information a second. 

Most of the unconscious data is visual. So your conscious brain and your emotional brain, which is what market research measures is at best measuring 0.00035, at worst 0.000000035 of the data. That’s got to be the biggest ‘sampling error’ in history. Since tracking is based on tracking how the conscious brain thinks of a brand and at best the emotional brain it’s fundamentally flawed. It’s flawed to the point of it being totally, completely and utterly false and misleading. So why have we continued with it?

Because no-one has found a better way, until now. We need a way to track the collective unconscious, in a real, grounded way, founded in science. This unconscious market research tracking problem is compounded by the empirical science of marketing, which has tested our timeless principles.

Brand positioning is a myth, brand distinctiveness is the key

Nothing in marketing has shaken up our principles more than Byron Sharpe’s book. Byron Sharpe found that most concepts in marketing – loyalty, positioning and differentiation didn’t have any basis in fact, they were untested concepts that we all assumed were the truth. Wrong. Sharpe applied science to key principles of marketing and found, scientifically, the following uncomfortable facts. People aren’t loyal to brands, they are loyal to the category. 

To maximise market share, brands need to be maximise their physical availability and their mental availability. The latter is not driven by conceptual positioning but by physical distinctiveness or in his own words “Rather than striving for meaningful perceived differentiation, marketeers should seek meaningless differentiation.” In other words, you’ve got to stand out from the category (look a bit different) while standing in with the category (looking comfortably like you belong in it). And our idea of a sacred brand onion is dead. The second key point is that innovation is less about innovation and more about how you present your innovation in the market place.

Think about innovative brands a moment – think Apple, Red Bull and has-been Absolut vodka, much of their perceived innovation was about how they got their innovations noticed – Apple did its shops, Red Bull its trolley races and Absolut, originally, distinctive fridges. So it’s not enough to be innovative, you’ve got to present innovative. So, we have two key challenges – we need to make our brands physically distinctive at an unconscious level and we need innovation which is presented at an unconscious level.

Why should you care?

Everything communicates – so you’ve got to know how people feel, unconsciously, a category should be. And how far your brand deviates from that norm. This will give you two key advantages over your competitors. If you know how a category should be, how it should look like and behave, then you’ve got the magic formula to cut through and communicate in a way that resonates with the unconscious. 

If you know how a category is trending unconsciously then you’ll know where to put your efforts in innovation, you’ll have the weather forecast. 
Introducing the science of meanomathics
Meanomathics takes your category and unpacks it using non-verbal cues on a vast quantitative scale. It’s an empirical measurement of how the market truly sees your category unconsciously.
How you may say? That’s because we use the new science of Meanomathics to systematically unpack how the market sees your category through multiple sensory domains on a grand scale. 
What you get is literally how the market sees, thinks and feels what your category is like. 
But that’s not enough, that’s just the data. We apply a mathematical formula to the output based on using applied quantitative semiotics grounded in the principles of Peirce who approached semiotics scientifically.

what is the result

It’s a set of norms. Any brand in a category needs to stand out (from the category to be distinctive) and stand in (so it’s not weird). Finding that magic balance is what Meanomathics reveals. It gives you a score of how far you are from the ideal norm of the category and more importantly – it literally tells you how the category norm should look, feel, smell and sound. So what? Imagine giving communication briefs if you actually know what your category should truly be like? At the moment, you are blind and so is everyone else – we give some words and a take-out. It’s hopelessly imprecise, it’s like trying to shoot a bullet when we don’t even know where the bullet should be. In addition, this meta analysis of the category shows you where the category should be headed. It tells you that type of new products you should bring in – and again what they should look like, feel like and sound like.

Meanomathics is the ‘Intel inside’ for getting categories right in the future.

But don’t I do this?

No, you don’t. Current techniques don’t have the scientific meanomathic foundation to address and find the truth in the way we’ve constructed it. Existing insight is based on out of date erroneous thinking. So if you want to really know your category and get ahead, if you want the weather forecast on your category, then you need to find out that ‘the truth is out there’.