How to Turn Liked Brand Into a Loved One?
Terms like brand loyalty, brand trust and brand attachment all sound very familiar and almost … well, boring. It’s the time of the year when everyone (at least advertisers!) talks about love, so in this article we are focusing on brand love. What is it, how it shows and what you can do to turn a liked brand into a loved one?
What is brand love?
Although love associates us to emotion, brand love is more of a relationship. It is indeed connected to positive attitudes and feelings towards a brand. Still, when consumers describe their love for a brand, they are mainly describing the relationship, accompanied by several other positive emotions, such as happiness and joy and even anxiety about possibly losing the loved brand. Brand love is, therefore, a relationship a loyal customer – a fan – forms with a beloved brand.
How does brand love show?
If brands were rock groups (Hey, some rock groups indeed are quite unique brands!), fans would be groupies. But since not all of us are rock stars and fans don’t scream in awe in right front of us (actually, it’s a global pandemic, so not even rock group lovers are doing that) how do we know that what costumers are feeling for our brands is brand love?
Brand love is expressed through a powerful toll – word of mouth. Brand’s biggest fans are great ambassadors, showing a great deal of brand loyalty and increased willingness to pay a price premium. They are also the ones who will most likely forgive a brand for its possible failures. Brand’s fans are attached to it and even identify with a brand. A loved brand gives them a sense of meaning, they feel a passionate desire to use it and have in the past been involved with it (e.g. used it or interacted with a company that owns it).
How to make a brand more loved?
1. Facilitate passion-driven behaviours.
That will create a strong desire to use the brand, to invest resources into it and to interact with it frequently. This can be achieved with the help of a great design. If you are selling products, for example, exceptionally designed packages can create a sense of desire. And if you personalize your products or services, you will facilitate the need to invest resources into your brand and to interact with it more frequently.
2. Build a brand that symbolizes or facilitates self-brand integration.
Okay, customers express their identity through brands they are using, but you’ll want to go deeper. Make your brand connect to your customers on a more significant level – relate to their more essential values and life’s meanings. If we were to pick one thing that differentiates loved brands from liked ones, it would be this one: A key that sets strongly loved brands apart is that they have more of the rewards they bring to a customer tied to creating inner value (e.g. happiness) rather than external one (e.g. instrumental benefits). Give meaning, and go deep.
3. Create positive emotional connections with the brand.
Don’t only strive to create positive feelings towards your brand; desire to create a sense of old-friend bond with a customer. This will be easier if you let your authenticity shine through. Brands that come from the hearts of their creators have a much easier time finding a place in the hearts of their consumers.
4. Become so valuable they would miss you if you were gone.
Create useful resources (articles, courses, recipes) your customers will use – be the one they turn to when they need expertise and advice in your field. This will also create and leverage a feeling of anticipated separation distress if the brand were to go away.
5. Create a long-term relationship with customers.
This could be created through loyalty programs, excellent customer service and frequent and ongoing communication – don’t only have one-shot campaigns, make them long term so that your brand is always present in the lives of the customers and the relationship is ongoing. A great way to form such a relationship is also by creating a community, which can nowadays be done as simple as creating a Facebook group. It will still take a lot of time and effort, but relationships are always something worth investing in.
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