It’s Valentine’s Day 2012. It is no secret that if you want people to love your brand these days. Adriana Lima’s Teleflora’s TV commercial aside, you’ve got to generate lust for the brand that leads to deep love. And I don’t mean David Beckham‘s HUGE skyscraper poster of him in his underwear for H&M overlooking 7th Avenue in New York.
Creating love for the brand is a vital yet bloody emotional thing. In the old days, when you were interested in someone, you called, sent flowers and a card, and then asked them on a date. Today, when you meet someone you have all the complexities of social media. When do you respond? How and how often? Not easy. Brand lovin’ is sort of the same.
You can no longer deliver a simple emotive message. Forget about shouting what you’re selling. Today’s savvy consumers want something more meaningful. They want to feel real love. Because if they don’t… they won’t trust or want to be associated with you.
Technology and the Internet have made all this possible. They have brought brands and customers closer together through high impact social media and the digital revolution. People can now talk directly to brands and vice versa. It has created a new kind of relationship. It’s a direct connection that’s built on trust and loyalty.
How you grab people’s love is by igniting their passions and sparking a movement that tickles them daily? One that listens to them, makes them laugh, or shows them that you care. You have to be transparent, trustworthy and honest. And if you say you believe in something, you have to mean it right from the very heart of your operation. Otherwise, people will see through your insincerity.
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There are plenty of examples where brands are struggling with brand love. Some used to understand the importance of love but have since forgotten. Some are doing better than others. Bud Light and its new Rescue Dog campaign makes us smile. Hyundai inspires and plays on people’s love of Rocky with its latest commercial. And Toyota talks about our emotional ‘connections’ with its Camry model and asks ‘What’s your story?’.
But real brand love, like in life, is reserved for a special level of brand engagement and emotional impact. Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood movement comes to mind. It’s bigger than the category. It talks to everyone about themselves, his or her individual plight, challenge, and opportunity and stimulates a lust for a relationship that stirs you deep within.
What other brands have taken it there?
How do you think Audi did with its recent attempt to capitalize on the famous Twilight saga? Did it connect with its audience?
Or what about GoDaddy.co? Its ‘Body Paint’ and ‘The Cloud’ adverts were supposed to be sexy and provocative but did they connect with a huge percentage of its market, i.e. women?
Or what about Coca Cola’s advertisement where two polar bears enjoy the soft drink in a cave?
But there are those times when people can break up with your brand because they’ve fallen out of love with you. Something might’ve damaged your reputation or put you in a bad light. For example, brands like Starbucks have gone through interesting times over the years. Starbucks is now rekindling our love for their brand experience with all sorts of initiatives…doing rather than simply talking.
Above all, brands have got to accept that they’re now in a relationship with their customers. And like any successful relationship, it has to be built on love, trust and loyalty. If you don’t have that, then you’ll suffer much heartbreak to come.