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Brand Love

On Valentine's day what better topic to talk about than Brand Love.



Brand what?

Yes.. Brand Love.. before you stop reading let me clarify...I guess by Brand Love what I am really talking about is our connection and affinity to brands as consumers. If we dig deep even the most "anti-brand" individuals have "preferred" brands or even "hated" brands - brands they will and won't buy from, brands they covert to own, brands they respect.


Back to the noughties....

Brand Love was a term first coined around 20 years ago, Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts published the book Lovemarks in 2004. In the subsequent 19 years, we have fallen in and out of love with Brand Love. however, in recent years I have seen the term reemerge and I reference 2 businesses giving a kiss of life to brand love in 2023...


Prove your Love

Multiple research studies, both consumer and B2B brands show that when making a decision about which businesses or brands to select, our emotional connections, expectations and experiences guide our preferences and our actions that lead to brand selection and decision-making. Despite what we all like to think.... we don't select services or products for purely rational reasons, we are very much guided by our emotions - our feelings.


Show your feelings

Our feelings are intangible and they guide us through life, they guide us to make some of the biggest decisions of our lives - who we marry, where we live, and what job we take.. so to underestimate the power of emotions when customers choose a product or service be this for work or for their personal lives is to vastly underestimate your own capacity to feel emotions and to be guided by them. Think back to the last purchase you made was it totally rational? or was there an emotive driver at play - often an intangible emotional connection between yourself and a brand has a big influence on selection, preference, recommendation and repeat engagement.


The kiss of new life

In 2022 Talkwalker.com teamed up with Hootsuite, to refine their Brand Love Index, and whittle down over 1,500 global consumer brands to find the 50 most loved brands in the world. They found that sustainability was vital. With loved brands focused on exceeding customer needs for today, and for the future. In the full report, Talkwalker looks at how all 50 brands are driving consumer love, and they present their views on why the 3 pillars of sustainability - social, economic, and environmental - are critical for consumers and brands. They suggest monitoring brand love, by measuring Trust, Passion, and CSAT scores. And they offer a view of regional top 10 loved brands with regional top 10 lists. Finally they offer tips from Hootsuite on how to start developing your brand love from day one.


Where love is

In 2022 Sananta.com also looked to research and summarise brand love across the UK - they published The UK's Top 100 Most Loved Brands 2022 - A study of consumer passion and brand devotion, their research offers recognition and celebration of the most emotively connected brands in 2022. Savanta.com canvassed more than 200,000 UK adults, asking them about over 2,500 brands. They used the results to bring together comprehensive a list of the top 100 brands they love with rankings across age, gender, and region.


Brand Love beyond emotion

In reality, it is my opinion that brand love was a move to recognise that we engage with brands we engage in both rational and emotive thought. Brand Love acknowledges that we are primarily guided by feelings and these feelings are rarely just rational and that we need to fulfil a number of criteria when selecting a brand - The volume of data, choice and ambiguity involved in brand decision-making today can be overwhelming, causing emotions to override a more rational approach to selecting a brand. Have you ever made a snap decision, gone with your gut, bought something because of the associated message or position of a brand or trusted a brand because of how the experience made you feel, or how you want to look rather than the hard and rational end return? If so you have used your emotions to guide your decision-making.


Building Brand Love

To build brand love you need to think about how your customers engage with your business - what they think, feel and do and what you want them to think, feel and do. How are you creating the right impression from the start and how are you sustaining this across every interaction?


According to a study by Brand Love Index, there are six key drivers of brand love:


1) Exceed Needs

To ensure you retain your customers, always love them first. Put their needs at the heart of everything you do and show them you care.


2) Build Trust

Consider what the drivers of trust are in your sector - make a list of trust factors and aim to live by these, secondly ask questions and consider whether you’re doing something that builds trust or raises questions about your motives. If you have case studies or testimonials don't be afraid to share these, or offer guarantees.


3) Set Trends

Today brands have become a way to define yourself. Setting a trend can help you create love in your brand - this is not the right strategy for every business but consider Apple's brand - which focused on setting trends and driving brand love by always innovating.


4) Share Values

We gravitate towards brands and businesses that we as individuals reflect our values, by really understanding your business and your audience your brand values will be true, honest and help you stand out in everything your do. If you can't live by your value it is not a true value for your business. Getting to your brand values and delivering these takes time and commitment.


5) Elevate Experience

Make every interaction the best possible brand interaction - this means ensuring you are considering your words, actions, products and services 360. Your brand experience does not begin and end when a product is bought or service is used it continues and lives beyond each interaction to build a feeling that your customers will share with others and that they will use to guide future preferences. Ask yourself critically what experiences are we providing our customers today?


6) Respect Me

This is easier said than done - developing a respectful relationship takes time and detailed customer understanding. Respecting your customers is key to creating a brand that is loved and valued - after all no strong relationship can build without a foundation of respect.


Brand Love in a changing world

Our world may be changing, but the core principles of developing consumer connections will continue to remain the same. Love is, and always will be, at the very heart of building a successful brand.


If you would like to know more about creating powerful a powerful brand strategy build on rational and emotive customer understanding. Show some love and get in touch.








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