I read three books this spring. Persuasion by Gass & Seiter, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, and Made to Stick by the Heath brothers. When it comes to branding, these are the three books I highly recommend. These books will not just entertain you, they will change the way you look at things and brands. I tried that and looked at six posters to see if they changed my perspective. I found these books and what they preach in every single poster.

I have highlighted the relevant parts from the books and tried to condense the learnings from these books into short blogs. These books can be downloaded or bought. If you are hungry for knowledge, consider these your Big Macs. Happy learning.

If you are hungry for knowledge, consider these your Big Macs.​

The Maven!

#6Days6Posters - Day 3

This is Pret A Manger, located at the crossing of I and 18th Street in DC. I see this the moment I come out of the dark and dreary station on to a bright and beaming street. Right next to it is Starbucks (hereinafter referred to as my ex). One year ago I had no idea what Pret A Manger was. I was oblivious to any other coffee other than my ex. Then a friend of mine told me about Pret A Manger. He didn’t just tell me, he insisted, cajoled, urged and pushed me to try Pret A Manger. I also want to add here that he is a Russian, so I complied.

It wasn’t just Pret A Manger he “referred” me to. Through him I have discovered a number of new restaurants, a shopping website, a new kind of paint for my car which makes the car scratch-proof, the best place to buy unique lapel pins, and how I can make money sitting at home. And it is not just me, half of the Communications department owe their, savings convenience, and upgrades to him.

The Three Marketers 

“I’m going to introduce three fascinating kinds of people I call Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen, who play a critical role in the word-of-mouth epidemics that dictate our tastes and trends and fashions.” Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (pg. 147) 

Everyone calls the Russian guy ‘Rawa’. His full name is Ravshan Rashidov and I don’t think even he can pronounce his name. He is very sociable, likable and knowledgable. I feel he fits all three kinds of people described by Malcolm Gladwell. He is a Maven, an expert at most of the things. And if he doesn’t know the answer he has a penchant to find out about it and let you know he knows. Rawa is also a connector, he makes friends immediately. And I mean friends, not acquaintances. It is a nightmare walking with him from one floor to the other. With him, a 5 minutes walk, takes 15 minutes because of all the people he meets and greets along the way. He is also a salesman because if he believes in something he will make sure you try it out too.

“Naturally sticky ideas are full of concrete images —because our brains are wired to remember concrete data. In proverbs, abstract truths are often encoded in concrete language: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Speaking concretely is the only way to ensure that our idea will mean the same thing to everyone in our audience. Source ― Chip Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (pg. 16)

CONCRETE (Adjective) Solid, not abstract. Existing in a material of physical form. (Source Chambers Dictionary). Or in other words, a beautiful, well-lit picture of a fresh sandwich, centered on a poster with hardly any text. It was as if someone read Made to Stick and decided to make a poster for Pret A Manger. And yes I did have the sandwich and it was as inviting as the message on the poster.

The first Pret A Manger opened in London in 1986, bringing freshly made ‘grab & go’ sandwiches to the worker population. Pret A Manger owes its success to segmentation and understanding the audience. It focuses primarily in Urban areas and to white collared people who work in an office environment. It understood its key audience when it began and has been consistent till today as it expands across the globe.

The Brand Wagon

“Advertisers want us to experience psychological discomfort if we change brands.” Source Persuasion: Social Influence and Compliance gaining, Robert H. Gass, John S. Seiter (pg. 59) 

I have become a true brand loyalist and have forgotten about my ex. And just like in any romantic relationship whatever your ‘petite amie’ does you like it. Whether she makes coffee or a sandwich you will try both and in most cases like it. For me, Pret A Manger is where I get my morning coffee. The plan is to continue this relationship forever or till a time my ex hires a better ad agency or Rawa discovers a new coffee shop.

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