Is a brand accessible to study?

The school of psychology known as behaviourism, as exemplified by the famous B. F. Skinner, held that the mind itself was not readily accessible to study, nor a useful subject of study. Instead the view was that all that was available and useful to study was the human behaviour that emanated from cognitive activity. We could apply the same rationale to the study of brands. All that is available to us is the phenomena of the brand communications, the actions and responses of various audiences, and the actions of the brand stewards.

The analogy holds for so far, except that in the case of human psychology, there is something beyond the observable phenomena – there is a mind that is involved in cortical cognitive processing and that ephemeral condition, conciousness. Since the behaviourists, psychologists have increasingly directed their studies to these more difficult areas.  With the brand however, we could argue that what is observable is the sum of all there is… in fact that sum is ‘the brand’. Studying brands could perhaps be more likened to forensic profiling – for brand analysis perhaps we need a ‘Brand Cracker’?


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