Tools & Resources

We know brand dissonance happens when your product’s ad message backfires. And brand resonance happens when an ad campaign truly finds an emotional target. But brand consonance?

The concept is at the heart of a new research model developed by Brand Keys, a New York-based media research firm that has made its mark with brand loyalty work.

Brand consonance, at its simplest, is when the ad target most optimally finds its best delivery vehicles. The model tries to address the nagging concern that accompanies every complete media plan: "Am I in the right media? The right show? On the right websites? Did I miss anything?"

"Companies don’t have as many media dollars to allocate as they did in the past," says Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys CEO. "Advertisers get fewer arrows to hit receding consumer targets. Worse still, it’s harder to be sure which bull’s-eyes really count."

Brand consonance is designed to work with TV, radio and the Internet. The best way to explain brand consonance is to see it in action. Brand Keys recently worked with a high-end kitchen hardware manufacturer to determine the proper brand consonance in magazines. The brand’s agency recommended Vanity Fair and People as the most effective print vehicles.

By surveying 16,000 consumers in the prospective target market, Brand Keys found that the magazines that had the best brand-to-media consonance, or the magazines that consumers most expect favorably view the product, were Traditional Home, Vanity Fair, Martha Stewart Living and Sunset. Three of the most effective publications for the brand would have been left off the plan.

"The job of a planner and buyer is tougher than ever," says Passikoff. "We hope this way of thinking can make it easier."

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