What does consumer passion for a brand look like? When a consumer can rely on your brand 24/7, you’re pretty much there.
There was a time when the best way to demonstrate brand passion was to display it. Other than venerable giants like Coca-Cola and Walt Disney, the most beloved brands were often synonymous with outerwear or automobiles or, generally, status. Just five years ago, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) revealed that among the top-20 most loved brands, six were auto brands, and included luxury makers few can afford, like BMW, Cadillac and Lexus.
However, in November 2016, Fjord and Accenture Interactive revealed a list of the top-10 most-loved brands of 2016 and this list includes no automakers. In fact, the five-year-old ACSI’s top-10 included only one brand (Amazon) that consumers can’t own; this year’s list includes four—and five if you include the service, Netflix.
Today, brand passion is very much linked to how big a role those brands play in consumers’ lives. Every brand among Fjord and Accenture Interactive’s top-10 can and often is with the consumer always (naturally, they’re all tech brands or e-tailers). The same ubiquity can’t be said of powerhouse brands like Nike, Hershey, Heinz and any automaker.
Without diminishing the socioeconomic role brands have, truer today is how brand affinity is reliant on brand utility more so than what the brand suggests about the person who owns or uses it. There isn’t anything particularly sexy about Walmart and some concerned about optics might not want anyone to know they shop there, but there it is among top-10 most-loved brands. Why? Well, because it serves a purpose in consumers’ lives that’s difficult to replicate. The same goes for other top-10 brands, such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. And their advantage is, to paraphrase an old AMEX tagline, you don’t leave home without it.
Of course, the easiest way to earn consumer passion is to be Apple, Google or Amazon, which is a little like telling an aspiring pro basketball player to be 6’7”. Therefore, the magic trick for marketers is making your brand feel essential and that will help earn consumer passion.
It’s all about messaging: Beyond its price and its pedigree is its purpose and, more so, if the brand can demonstrate it not just some of the time. Make a great case that your brand is always there for the customer the same way Amazon, Apple and Google are and you’ll be well positioned to make your brand more than a passing fancy.
A commercial for Gain detergent tapped into the premise.
In this ad, a woman is uniquely upbeat amid long travel day simply because her clothes remain fresh. It’s subtle, but the message is Gain gives an advantage because it remains with the weary traveler all day.
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