Mind mapping

Date of publication: June 15, 1996


This essay takes up the question: "How is brand represented in the consciousness of the consumer? And on the basis of this starting point, how can the different expressions or manifestations of brand be explained?" This exploration is based upon the findings of cognitive psychology. The latter starts from the assumption that knowledge is stored in memory in the form of schemata or networks. In this sense, brands can be conceived of as complex schemata, which represent, so to speak, the mind map of the brand in question. As a result of individual value orientations and, in part, of situational needs, the mind map is translated into a functional or emotional benefit of the brand. Mind maps prove especially useful in understanding brand communications and in the development of line extensions. This paper presents the way in which the structure and contents of mind maps are established. Specific examples will be presented in order to show the usefulness of this analysis in increasing our comprehension of the interaction of the brand with a range of substantive elements, be they product benefits, advertising images, or emotional benefits.

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