Standing Out from the Crowd: The Caucus Methodology for Eliciting Brand Associations Across Competitors

Michael McCarthy and Gillian Oakenfull

Miami University

Management slant

  • Effective brand positioning requires understanding the meaning of each brand within the competitive set.
  • This understanding implies the need for research methods that can identify the brand associations representing the points-of-parity and points-of-difference among and between the competitive brands in a category.
  • The Caucus methodology accomplishes this objective by leveraging a social-gathering metaphor to drive grouping of brands.
  • The Caucus grouping of brands is based on similarities followed by brand-to-brand comparisons to identify the points of parity and points of difference.
  • The results of the study demonstrate the efficacy of this methodology at identifying and quantifying the brand associations driving competitive category membership and brand preference.