13 May 2008

Brand Tags

Four days ago, my friend Noah launched a "collective experiment in brand perception" site called Brand Tags. The idea is simple enough: "a brand exists entirely in people's heads." This is what you see when you go to the site:

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All you do is type the first thing that comes into your head for each logo (every time you hit "submit," a new logo comes up). Over time (not a lot of time, in this case, which I'll get to in a minute), each featured brand has its own tag cloud, representing the collective perception and thoughts of that brand. The more times a word or phrase is typed by people, the bigger it shows up in the tag cloud. Here are three.

Whole Foods:

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Internet Explorer:

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It's a simple and brilliant idea, and has already been picked up by PRWeek, Adweek and Seth Godin, among many others. This thing shows so clearly that a brand can try to control its experience all it wants, but in the end people will still think what they want. I bet Brand Tags can actually be used as a tool for brands themselves to gauge their health, maybe even better than a survey. For example, if someone was asked about a brand that they had never heard of in a survey, they may try to fake it so as to not sound dumb ("Oh, I've heard of them somewhere for sure, not really sure what they do though"). Brand Tags seems to have so far allowed for brutal honesty, though:

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You can also now create an account for yourself (among other fun things) and see the collection of tags you've entered in:

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As of 10.00 am today, Brand Tags is up to 160,000 tags. In just four days! This is amazing, Noah. Definitely one of those "Why the hell didn't someone think of this sooner" ideas. I can't wait to see where this ends up. (Also, for a bit of fun, Noah also threw together a site for tagging celebrities, which is pretty hilarious - check out the tags for Paris Hilton, for example).
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