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Mind Wedges: A Way to See How We Think of Brands

Imagine that your mind is a gigantic tinker toy that’s made of millions of small slices that all sit next to each other. These slices, or Mind Wedges have a specific topic tied to them, together with all the topic’s attributes. So, in this illustration, the Luxury Automobile wedge sits sits closely against the luxury SUV wedge. Wedges hold a myriad of information: images, feelings, facts, memories, impressions, and more. In fact, everything you know and feel about a topic

However, not every mind has the same wedges. Some wedges are missing because the person is not aware of the segment, usually because it doesn’t exist for them. For example, there’s a ton of people out there who have heard the word “Twitter”, but don’t have a clue what it is. In that instance, they may have filed it in the “Things on the internet that are very difficult to understand” wedge, or they may just not recall it. If a target purchaser has a wedge that you can fit next to you’re in great shape and have an opportunity to gain awareness and retention for your brand quickly and with less investment.

Mind Wedges: a way to drive brands.

Here’s a simple but helpful example of a fictional brand that illustrates the concept:
Imagine again that you sell running shoes. Your shoes are cleverly designed to give better traction, the shoes are lighter, allowing muscle energy to be used in motion, not carrying weight, and they are aerodynamic, allowing the runner to reach greater speed with less wind resistance. Yours is a new brand and so you need to get visibility. Once you describe the shoes as “Running Shoes” you force yourself to drive your wedge next to Nike, Adidas and Reebok; all major players and tough competitors with many styles of shoes and incredible brand awareness and loyalty. Positioning your shoes against these formidable competitors’ products means slower pace of adoption, increased marketing costs and a tougher time entering the sports shoe distribution channel.

So don’t. Don’t allow your potential customers to see your shoes as Nike rip-offs. Don’t let yourself look like just another sports shoe manufacturer. Instead, drive your wedge next to Ferrari. Yes, Ferrari. You shoes are: “The Ferrari of Running Shoes.”

To most people, Ferrari says this: [Fast – Stylish – Exotic – Elite – Expensive] In fact, exactly what your shoes are designed to be. All the money and work that was put in to brand Ferrari is now yours for free.

The statement: The Ferrari of Running Shoes says it all, because most people’s Ferrari Mind Wedge holds all the attributes you want to impart. Now, the skeptics out there will say that their Ferrari Mind Wedge also holds: [Overpriced – Unreliable – Likely to break – Expensive to maintain]. They are right. But take any major brand and you can find its negative side.

For example, let’s take a well regarded, staple brand; Heinz Ketchup: [Rich – Tasty – High Quality] and [80% Sugar – Bright red food coloring – Junk food companion].

Well, nobody’s perfect.

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About the Author

David Andrews, Cult of Three, Inc.
New York, NY 10008

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