Discovering truth behind brand love

Is there really such a thing as brand love?

The proclamation of love is often a fleeting one. While there is no doubt that an individual has love for his or her family, community, or other highly-valued life component, in our culture we “love” a lot of things. We love our cars, our favorite TV shows…and even our favorite brands. But when we assert this deep emotion for material, or even abstract, things, what do we mean?

This week, A Little Bird Presents an article that asks if the concept of “brand love” is a myth – or something real. We also cover Greek yogurt giant Chobani’s massive product give away and why every brand should pay attention to the emerging beauty industry.

Key takeaways:

  • The quest to discover the truth about the existence of “brand love” reminds us that behavioral science should be considered when designing brand engagement strategies.
  • The beauty industry is mastering modern marketing, and we should all pay attention.
  • Authenticity continues to be one of the most important brand characteristics to master.

Is brand love real?

Does “brand love” really exist? Or is it a buzzword?

Brand love, often born from brand loyalty, is a term on the tip of many marketers’ tongues. It is a benchmark that brands aspire to. If it is achieved, then the commonly-held wisdom is that the beloved company will have a customer for life. They just need to create a deep and powerful connection. But can we love a brand? Do consumers use this alleged emotion to guide their purchasing decisions?

In this article, Campaign Live digs into this question as, for some in the marketing community, this concept is a debatable one. Yet, as the article points out, it is a question that is answerable through science. And in a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research, three researchers were able to test the brand love theory and establish a metric by which its existence can be determined. Read on to learn their findings, and how the data can help you make better marketing decisions.

Chobani plans massive giveaway to maintain marketing momentum

Chobani is often in the news. While the popular Greek-yogurt brand continues to lead the category, they do so understanding that the number one placement can be elusive. In the past, they have gone all in on brand activation. Last year, an Event Marketer article stated that, “from sampling to sponsorships to Chobani’s flagship retail café, live experiences are driving the brand. ‘We do events 52 weeks a year,’ McGuinness (Chobani’s CMO) says. ‘We’re always on the road. Experiences are a big, big part of our marketing [mix].’”

Now Chobani is going all in on product sampling in, quite literally, the biggest way possible. Their “One for All” campaign focuses on providing a free yogurt to everyone in America. Yes, everyone. Here AdAge discusses the details of the campaign and Chobani’s approach to staying at the top of their game.

Why your brand should pay attention to the beauty industry

The beauty industry is growing at an astonishing speed. According to this article, “the global beauty market is predicted to grow from $432.7 billion in 2016 to $750 billion by 2024, according to Inkwood Research.” The demand is tremendous, and many beauty brands are emerging as pioneers in product development, consumer engagement, and brand experience. It is because of their mastery of these areas that they are seeing success; areas in which so many other sectors are still struggling to gain footing.

The article claims a few key reasons for their success. “They are audience-focused and feedback-driven. Their founders are intimately involved in consumer conversations and regularly spend several hours a day directly engaging with customers via Instagram and other social media channels.” They are also focused on the brand experience, “offering a killer end-to-end experience that customers repeatedly want and that they keep telling others about.” The lessons learned from these beauty industry leaders are valuable for any brand looking to keep up in the modern marketplace.

VR World makes marketing with virtual reality accessible

Virtual reality has gone from high-tech and somewhat inaccessible to fully mainstream over the last decade. What was once a clunky but alluring device has now become cheaper and user-friendly. In fact, VR has become so commonplace that VR World recently came to be, a “virtual arcade” in New York City. It is billed as “the largest virtual reality experience center in the western hemisphere,” featuring 50 VR games, films, and experiences.

Already, many brands have taken notice of the benefits of VR and have incorporated the technology into consumer engagement. And with VR-based concepts like VR World, there are even more opportunities to gain inspiration for new ways to use it during a brand experience.

Diesel’s knockoff pop-up store highlights #gowiththeflaw campaign

Brand activations have changed over the years, expanding in scope, technology, and concept. One tactic that has come, gone, and now come back with a vengeance is the concept of the pop-up shop. Pop-ups have materialized everywhere, from Amazon pop-ups in malls to restaurant pop-ups within other established restaurants. Pop-ups are no longer uncommon, but one pop-up that opened this year in proximity to New York Fashion Week turned out to be more than what it appeared.

The haphazardly-designed store featured “plastic hangers; neon “sale” and “buy 2, get 1 free” signs in slightly messy handwriting; and boxes upon boxes of sweaters, shirts and other items piled in the middle of the small store.” Jeans and other apparel sported the Diesel name (misspelled as Deisel). Yet, consumers were shocked to learn that the items weren’t knockoffs at all, but legitimate brand merchandise. Adweek details the campaign and how Diesel made #gowiththeflaw come to life.

This is how to boost your brand’s authenticity

For brands and consumers alike, marketing saturation has presented a problem. In a world where the average urbanite receives up to 5,000 marketing messages a day, brands have a lot to cut through. Consumers, on the other hand, are overstimulated, and the impact of any given marketing campaign is that much less.

As this Forbes article accurately states, “Whether you’re asking someone to buy a product, use your service, make a donation or vote for your candidate, the fact is that most consumers don’t like being marketed to.” Marketing messages are often seen as sterile, impersonal, and manufactured. Which is why the article’s author goes on to say that “Authenticity is the secret sauce that separates the transactional experience — money in exchange for a product or service with no emotional connections — from the relationship experience. It’s what turns buyers into brand disciples.” Here are 7 tips on how you can boost your brand’s authenticity and make an impact on your audience.

Your brand can learn from how millennial women approach the beauty industry

Speaking of the beauty industry and its modern approach to consumer engagement, the reason these brands are successful is simple. They are paying attention to their consumers on every level, from the way they consume goods to the way they communicate with each other and with brands. These smart beauty brands are paying attention to the Millennial-led shift in the consumer relations. And this shift impacts every sector, not just beauty.

This Forbes article breaks down the state of marketing within the beauty industry. It states that Millennial women “are far more likely to use online content to learn about beauty products than other generations.” In short, social media is driving this industry, and the use of influencers has become a valuable strategy. The engagement tips here may be related to the beauty industry, but can be retro-fitted for brands of all types.

Modernizing the marketing model

Each day, we navigate the ways that technology and innovation has changed the dynamic of buying and selling. As marketers, we are continually catching up with consumer preferences. At the same time, we are working to use our new reality to innovate the ways we communicate with consumers and prospects. As the post asserts, too often, brands tend to rely on the old model of price, product, promotion and place.

But “the world and our customers have moved on.” The article goes on to say that “the modern marketers’ remit has now extended far beyond ‘selling stuff’. It often embraces oversight of digital transformation across a business, shaping of the end-to-end customer experience and taking responsibility for all brand touch points.” The role of the marketer has evolved, thus the strategy behind the discipline should change too.