Brands work by erecting structures of memory in the mind of a consumer or buyer. A brand is a constellation of these impressions that accrete over time. A successful brand uses these impressions to ensure that it is a presence in the consumer's consideration set; that is, a brand is successful if it persists in the buyer's memory when making a buying decision, fulfilling the requirements for brand salience in a consumer decision. A brand must be distinctive enough to be easy to identify when the consumer is looking for it. People don't actually think about brands that much; the brand, therefore, must embed itself in their unconscious choices.
Advertising serves to reify these memory structures in the consumer's mind.
- Advertising is defensive - Advertising protects and reinforces existing brand impressions
- Buyers eliminate most options unconsciously - A strong brand is persistent when the buyer is making a decision
- Advertising changes the cultural meaning of products - Advertising modifies the meaning of a brand in terms of what it signals to others
- Ideas are constellations - Ideas are constellations that are shaped into larger concepts