When speaking, I often do free association with brands, asking the audience to shout out any word or phrase that comes to mind when I name a brand.
While most brands own a few words, in my experience, only one brand has delivered consistently: Volvo. When I say it, the words “safety” or “safe” are shouted in unison. It’s almost like a cheer sometimes—kinda creepy.
Well, now there’s a website that has taken branding free association a step further.
Brand Tags is “a collective experiment in brand perception” where you view a series of logos and type in the word or words that immediately come to mind for each.
Here’s a tag cloud for a popular American brand:
That’s just a small sampling of the cloud, but you get the point.
Can you guess who this is for? I’ll bet you can.
In case you are wondering, the two largest words in the Volvo tag cloud: “safe” and “safety.”
Comment below to share the word or phrase you would like associated with your brand.
Join the discussion 3 Comments
I’ve been wondering whether after Ford–a company known for its lack of concern for safety–bought Volvo, whether it would still have that perception. Apparently, it does, even several years later.
Shel Horowitz, author of
Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First
Great point. It’s been a long time since the days of the Pinto–time alone may be helping Ford. But Volvo’s halo effect can’t be a bad thing, either.