Exploiting the implicit: I believe it's what brands don't say that matters

Peter Buckley
MEC

Abstract

In recent years our understanding of how humans make decisions has improved considerably, but this has had little impact on most brand planning. Messages and persuasion are still central to the majority of briefs. This paper proposes a new way of looking at brand communication by broadening the perspective from explicit messages to implicit signals. Viewing brand communication through the lens of messaging can result in brands missing opportunities and at worst contradicting themselves with their behaviour. Brands need to consider how they communicate implicitly and ensure that these signals reinforce their values in every way possible.

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said."

Peter F. Drucker1

Introduction