Culture Code Updates

While I’ve been reading my book here and there, I know I haven’t mentioned it much in my blog.. I feel like I’ve been so caught up and interested in tracking my group’s progress with the project/class. However, I’ve been making notes in my notebook and marking pages every time I read, and I just wanted to point out some of those that really stood out to me.

The culture code has been helping me look at my own life, and my peers lives, from a different perspective. I know there’s always been subconscious reasons why we all make decisions about the things we do in life, the products be buy, foods we eat, etc., but I never fully understood what caused it.

The Culture Code helps bring the “why do we make these decisions” to light, in revealing that there are specific codes for every aspect of life. Jeep wranglers have a code, beauty has a code, even love & seduction both have codes. This code usually has to do with our very first imprint of a product which often goes hand-in-hand with our culture and how we were raised. Finding out the code for any product or different areas of life can help companies figure out in which direction to steer their marketing efforts and how to portray different products in advertisements.

One of the codes that was definitely eye-opening for me was the code for love, and how that played into company’s advertisements after being educated by Clotaire. While I was shocked by the code for love, I also found myself completely agreeing with how much sense it made after seeing the common trends discovered during his Clotaire’s “discovery sessions.” While it’s different depending on country, the code for love in America is “False expectation.” So many people set their expectations so high and strive to find this perfect love or “Mr. Right” due to what they see in movies, yet so many American marriages end up in divorce. Jewelry companies use this to market off code and on code as well. For example, jewelry companies will market off-code to take people away from this subconscious of love being false expectation; they do this by marketing diamonds as a sense of commitment and a way of bringing people together forever,hoping that maybe buying this product will help cause that. However, once the code was discovered, they were able to introduce some new advertisements that marketed directly on code and that could appeal to people in a different way. These advertisements highlighted the high resale value of diamonds, which recognizes people’s subconscious and the sad reality of many individuals in America- that love and marriage may not always be forever.

Reading about Clotaire’s method of digging into the human subconscious shows me just how important it is for marketers to hold these in depth focus groups or discovery sessions. They can really bring to light a specific meaning or code behind a brand or product (just how we similarly felt our focus groups and research all lead to our nugget). It was really cool to watch these connections play out throughout the semester as I read about other individuals’ marketing work while conducting my own on the side.

The First Real Presentation

Last Tuesday, we gave what I would call our first official presentation, as it included basically all of our story plus some campaign ideas. As nerve-wracking as it was with 8 Penn State faculty members watching and critiquing, it was definitely an awesome experience and I’m so happy with where our group stands with the project. When we presented, all of our hard work became evident. It felt as if we were actually telling a story, one that was cohesive with the right research to back up our end decisions. It was definitely a different experience getting stopped by faculty with questions and comments throughout the presentation, but it definitely helped us not miss any important points of discussion.

One thing that I think my team members did exceptionally well when addressed by faculty about potential concerns was really sticking to their points and backing them up with valid reasoning. I think everyone was well spoken and extremely professional. There are definitely a couple aspects that need to be tweaked before the final presentation to corporate, but I’m excited about how far our team has come. At the beginning of the semester, I would not have pictured the project to be this developed. I’m so glad to have had this experience so far.

Personalization & Opportunity

Personalization & opportunity. These are two significant words that are guiding us in our next steps with Lipton. I think everything is coming together extremely well- way better than we had imagined. Conducting our last focus group definitely helped bring everything full circle for us. To figure out where to take Lipton with our nugget of insight (that millennials personalize every aspect of their lives to portray an image of the lifestyle they desire to live), we basically had students create their own, personal iced tea brands. This focus group was different in that it just involved a sheet of paper, on which participants simply circled items in different categories that they would associate their iced tea with. From these results we were able to figure out what personality Lipton could take on that other iced teas haven’t already. However, the differentiating factor about this campaign is that it doesn’t involve giving Lipton just one personality, but three different ones. The key reasoning behind this is the millennial values- the millennial aspires to be his/her own person, and we are letting him/her do that through each Lipton personality and the way the millennial chooses to interpret each. The other key differentiator is that every personality revolves around summer. In the focus group results, we realized that the most commonly circled items in every category all had the same overlap- summer. We knew then that the campaign had to revolve around summer, and each of the personalities would incorporate that.

It is all starting to come together. “Carpe Tea’em, Seize Your Tea.” What better way to take  Lipton on the journey with millennials than letting them seize their summer and the person they aspire to be?