Make Friends: Branding Thesis

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With hundreds of brands and thousands of products available, how do people identify and choose a brand over another? Perhaps the same way as we identify our friends among billions of strangers on earth.


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Did you know there are over 217 breakfast cereal brands in the U.S. alone? With that many options, it's practically impossible for consumers to make a fully informed decision as to which brands are better than others and how. The more brands entering the market, the greater apathy among customer, the harder for brand entities to effectively differentiate themselves.


There are billions of people on earth, but humans somehow manage to identify their loved ones from complete strangers and build relationships. If you believe in Dunbar's Number, one's group of stable social relationships can be as large as 150 people. Suddenly, picking a cereal box out of 217 brands seems an easy task. Humans are apparently capable of detecting subtle differences from other humans, and making or breaking connections with them. How do we utilize the ability to communicate brands so that they can better connect with people?


A brand is like a person; it has personal qualities, build relationships, and narrates its stories like a person does. Utilizing personality psychology theories, narrative frames and archetypes, and cognitive tools to measure behavioral patterns, we can better understand the dimensions of brand and thus better communicate them.