Brand Ethnographics™ is a Sector Intelligence approach to studying how brands develop and how they sustain themselves in target markets, which we conceive of as sub-cultures. “Ethnography” is the study of group life — envisioning “brands” as symbols with specific cultural meaning within a group’s life, we discover and describe what a particular brand means to a target market and why it has that meaning for the group. Additionally, we decipher and map the assumptions, beliefs, values, motives and references that support the group’s world view. Armed with this insight, we can guide clients and developing products and messaging that will be constantly in sync with the marketplace’s greatest needs and wants.

A brand, if it accomplishes what it sets out to do, becomes a cultural symbol with specific meaning and impact in group culture. The sustainability of a brand in a particular target market hinges on its ability to embed itself in the market’s sub culture.  SECTOR focuses on tracking and indentifying the stage and path of a brand’s evolution in group life (your target market).  We create a map that begins with the point of inspiration for the brand and then we decipher the degree to which the brand has been interpreted, integrated, and/or recognized as a symbol that can be utilized actively to reinforce the group’s current culture.  The process of mapping the evolutionary (or devolutionary) position of the brand in group life includes how the brand is used in the group’s language, what and how it contributes to normative behavior, and the role it plays in the “story” or “dream” the group perpetuates for and about itself.

Sector’s Brand Life Continuum Report maps the location of brands within an industry sector (and across sectors within a holistic picture of consumers’ lives)  based on each brand’s place along the Brand Life Continuum.™  The report characterizes in detail the role the brand currently plays in the life of the group and how that role is manifested. These details indicate the strength and sustainability of the brand and help to explain how and under what conditions the brand may or may not remain relevant and sustainable.