Date of publication: June 15, 1992


We intend to show how CONOT a new tool aiming to measure connotations be usefully applied to brand evaluation and strategy. We currently wonder which words, concepts, feelings would be evoked in people’s minds by a stimulus - a word, group of words, image... -? For instance, tradition is connected in the mind with various words and concepts. When using "tradition" as a stimulus, these connected words will be retrieved, by activation of the associative pattern. This associative set is the word's connotative meaning. Although this meaning is far more relevant, in daily life, than the denotative one, it is ignored by dictionaries! Words connotations, or evocations in people's minds, are a central concept in consumer research' they tell us how a word is inserted in the associative network, which constitutes the consumer's MFR (mental frame of reference). This insight is a key to efficient communication, concepts and words evaluation, brand strategy. Despite the importance of the connotation concept, its use is currently limited to qualitative research. CONOT intends to fill the gap. It has been created as a quantitative tool, which measures connotations of a word or other stimulus, in order to introduce the wealth, sensitivity and relevance of the connotation concept into the range of measurement tools. As such not only it provides an insight into consumers' mind, but it allows to compare, to set precise objectives, to track over time. CONOT is not a method, but a tool which may be used in a variety of situations, for checking connotations of words and concepts, across languages and countries for an international advertising campaign. In the context of this seminar, we will focus here upon another main application of this tool: brand evaluation.

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