Who Has the Most Valuable Brand Name?

It’s been linked to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity and tooth decay. According to several blind taste tests, it doesn’t even taste that great. And yet once again, for the 13th year in a row, Coca-cola has been named the world’s top brand.

How does Coke do it? Part of the answer is a $3 billion ad spend that simply associates the brand with simple positive images on a very basic emotional level. World-class Olympic athletes reaching for a Coke. Enemy border guards sharing a Coke. Fashion models enjoying Diet Cokes.

As we watch the ads, our neurons build dendritic connections that reinforce the positive image of Coke. In essence, the neuron responsible for Coke is connected to the one responsible for admirable athletes, gorgeous fashion models, world peace, happy water sports, young love and the like. These connections work both ways. If we think about Coke, we’re likely to think about Olympic athletes, and if we think about Olympic athletes, there’s a chance we’ll think about Coke.

Skeptical? Consider this: Coke is the second-most recognized word in the world, behind “Okay.” The brand alone has been valued at $74 billion. And Coke and Diet Coke command the No. 1 and 2 market shares in the soft drink industry–Pepsi is No. 3.


How to Use “Anchoring” in Surgical Marketing

In court, certain kinds of questions will trigger an automatic objection from the opposing side. “Your honor, he’s leading the witness!”
But in other walks of life, we’re asked leading questions all the time. And with no one to object, we fall for them more often than not.

One of the reasons we’re so gullible is something psychologists call “anchoring bias.” This refers to our tendency to “lock in” on the first facts we hear about a topic, and then use that information to anchor our thinking about it.
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Surgical Economy Surges in Q2

The surgery market is picking up steam, if the financial results of publicly owned chains are any indication.

For the first two quarters of 2012, Nashville-based Amsurg’s procedural volume grew 16 percent, from 656,000 to 768,000, and revenues grew by 26 percent.
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How to Create an Ad that Appeals to Surgery Facility Managers

High-scoring ads from the August issue of Outpatient Surgery. Click on the links at the end of the column to see larger versions.

For the past 10 Augusts, 200 surgical facility leaders have been kind enough to review the ads in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. Over the years, our Ad-Viser panel has revealed a lot about what flips our readers’ switches…and what doesn’t. A few do’s and don’t’s, based on almost a decade of study:

Why You Should Care About the “Mere Exposure Effect”

The old saying has it that familiarity breeds contempt. But in marketing, it’s just the opposite. Familiarity breeds preference. The more familiar potential customers are with your product or service, the more positively they’ll view it.

At least that’s the principle advanced more than 50 years ago by a famous psychologist named Robert Zajonc, and confirmed in more than 200 studies since.

Dr. Zajonc’s experiments showed that when you introduce a new stimulus into someone’s environment, the initial response is fear and avoidance. But over time, if the stimulus remains in place, the response changes to fondness.
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