According to an article in the Toronto Star, students in Japan buy Kit Kat bars because they're supposed to deliver good luck at exam time. In Japanese, Kit Kat is pronounced "kitto katto" which is very close to a phrase that means "Win without fail."
Back here in Canada, the Kit Kat brand is often associated with the "3 o'clock" break - a time when the sugar levels run low and you're looking for that extra burst of energy to get you through to 5 o'clock. Kit Kat has won a place in my mind as the "snackin' brand", a connection that Nestle was able to make through years of ad campaigns laced with images of overworked office workers looking for the next fix to get them through the day.
To me, the mental association that I have with the Kit Kat brand centers around its ability to get me back on track at a low point in my day. The fact that I can snap off the wafers is also practical and differentiates Kit Kat from other chocolate bars. I THINK it can get me through the rest of the day - and it always does.
Successful brands have the ability to cut through the clutter by earning a place in our minds and hearts that their competitors aren't able to reach. Companies who nurture these brands are able to influence my decision at each stage in the buying process. They're able to key in on the real reasons I consider in buying a brand, and by appealing to my rational and emotional mind make it easy for me to choose their brand over someone else's.
To market a successful brand, make it easy for your customers to choose you. Take the time to find out the real reasons they choose your brand.What or how do they want to feel when they use your brand? Do they think it will make them feel/look smarter, stronger, healthier - or wealthier? What's the key emotion they want to get back by using your brand? Do they want to feel...like a kid again...comforted...well fed...energized...adventurous...social?
What brands can you think of that stand for something you want to be part of? Do you buy products based on how they make you (or others) feel? How does how you feel or what you experienced affect what you buy?