Learning from Love Brands - Can we love brands?
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. That's exactly why building love brands in the gastronomic sector is easy - good food, a great location and a little bit of that decisive something. But in the field of consumer goods, creating a love brand is the supreme discipline, not to mention the B2B sector. Many brands fail to create the fetish character that Marx describes in "Das Kapital" as the quasi-religious relationship to products.
But what exactly is the difficulty in binding the consumer to one's own brand?
What are Love Brands?
The so-called Love Brands are brands that have a particularly strong appeal to their customers. In his book, businessman Kevin Robert "The Lovemarks Effect" (2004) three characteristics that mark the difference between a simple brand and a Love Brand.
- Mystery: People love stories. That's exactly why storytelling around one's own brand is the sales hit par excellence.
- Sensuality: Can a brand be experienced with the senses? Through a certain look, a certain feel, brands are not only narratable, but also made tangible for the consumer.
- Intimacy: Can the customer establish a certain emotional relationship with the brand? Bonding is the decisive criterion for long-term success.
Once the relationship has been established, customers often remain loyal to their love brands for a lifetime. Price increases and minor escapades are quasi-embarrassingly ignored. Due to the high level of identification with the core values of the brand, trust and loyalty are particularly strong.
We all know them: brands that cast a magical spell over us. Whether it's a particularly emotional advertising campaign, the packaging design or the user-friendly interface.
Love Brands have that decisive something and thus stand out from their competition.
These 6 drivers make your brand a love brand
The Meaningful Brands Study by Havas Group analyzed which brands have a tangible impact on consumers' lives. It found that brands that go beyond a product are rewarded with stronger bonds. The evaluation also found that 84% of consumers expect brands to produce meaningful content.
"Brands that go beyond the product and make a positive, tangible impact on what matters to us, gain a greater share of our lives. These brands are rewarded with stronger attachments and deeper audience connections, which in turn, helps reinforce trust."
Also Verizon subsidiary Oath has set itself the task of moving brands forward. They have analyzed those drivers that make a brand a love brand
1. exceed the needs of the customer
Customers today expect one thing above all else: more! Satisfying needs is simply no longer enough in a world where every worry can seemingly be solved via app. People love surprises, an aha effect. They want more than to be understood. Brands today are taking on the challenge of having to go beyond the needs of the customer. According to the study by Oath, 32% of respondents appreciate a brand for offering them more than expected.
An "Extraordinary Service" is characterized above all by that certain something. This unique selling proposition sets the brand apart from the competition and ensures that it is perceived as particularly valuable by consumers.
2. strengthen trust
Unfortunately, many brands lack transparency. Not least because what's going on in the back of their minds doesn't always reflect moral excellence. The Meaningful Brands study has shown that Love Brands focus first on people, then on consumers. Through the unchallenged premise of Customer Centricity, customers build a stronger relationship with the brand. The consumer is put at the center of everything. Service and products are precisely tailored to needs and optimized.
This includes Love Brands creating content that impacts people in a positive way. They create sustainability on both an environmental and community level. Love Brands establish a close relationship with the customer, strengthening the bond and trust of the community.
3. set trends
Trends and innovations inspire. Those who create innovation convey a feeling of freedom and boundlessness. Brands that don't just act as followers of current trends, but actively participate in agenda setting, manage to maintain the wow effect.
Creative director Alessandro Michele has brought the ailing fashion house Gucci a glittering comeback with his playful, often over-the-top designs. Critics even speak of the Michele effect, which completely ignored the rules of the fashion industry. At a time when Scandinavian minimalist designs adorned the sketches of designers, Michele embellished all designs with sequins, floral opulence and muddled combinations. And although the designer acted entirely against the market, he once again catapulted the Gucci brand to the top. For the first time, sales were so good again that the closing sale was canceled.
The Michele effect shows that love brands swim against the tide. They bring forth trends that tend to go against any market trend and still captivate people.
4. communicate common values
Love Brands have a positive impact on people's quality of life and well-being. The Meaningful Brands study shows that people wouldn't care if 74% of brands simply disappeared. This figure is worrying for any company that has not yet achieved Love Brand status.
People want the company of their choice to communicate shared values. The pursuit of a common goal not only welds partnerships together, but also consumers and companies.
By communicating shared values, brands stand out from their competition. They interact with their customers at eye level and thus achieve a strong cohesion of their community.
5. create brand experience
Every year in September, Apple fanatics pitch their tents and folding chairs in front of the stores. Although they could easily have the new iPhone delivered to their homes, fans often wait several days outside the store to be the first to hold the new model in their hands. It has become a kind of ritual that has become deeply inscribed in the brand's identity. At the latest when the packaging is opened and the Iphone's film is removed, the Iphone purchase has become a true brand experience.
The customer experience describes the customer's experience from the first encounter to the last point of contact. At every single touchpoint of the customer journey, the brand must be made recognizable and tangible for the potential customer. A unique customer experience can only be created if the customer is placed at the center of everything that happens.
All that remains for us to say is, "Well done, Steve Jobs."
"You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology." (1997)
6. appreciation of the customer
Putting customers in the pillory and teasing their pain points out of them doesn't quite get to the heart of what Customer Centricity means. Making the customer the center of the company's activities also means valuing them.
Emotional attachment to a brand provides insight into how ready consumers are to make their next purchase. The BrandZ Germany Study 2019 shows which German companies have made the leap from uniformity to love brand.
Love brand moments are performative rituals that inscribe themselves in the status of a brand through their repeated action. So it's not enough to ask customers about their problems once and hope for eternal loyalty. Appreciation is a continuously staged process.
Become a LoveBrand with the right content marketing strategy
The Meaningful Brands study has shown that customers really demand content from brands! But it's not just about any content. Content from Love Brands is emotional, meaningful, sustainable, innovative, inspiring and appreciative. They put the customer at the center of the action and thus create a long-term relationship.
"It does start on a small scale: If I know that certain personalities are particularly loved in a topic, you have to include these personalities in your content. If you then add love brands and design the text based on the common storytelling guidelines, this text is guaranteed to be successful." - Klaus Eck , in the contentbird interview
However, content marketing does not only see itself as a savior in need on Valentine's Day. Through a holistic content marketing strategy, the drivers for creating the Love Brand can be fully implemented.
What do you think: Can we love brands?