To develop love, you need to research lovers.
Brands have figured this out, like Mountain Dew, Apple or Harley Davidson. Some brands have made mistakes to find their lovers, which they then had to fix, like Coke Zero or Bengay’s classic marketing stories.
Don’t grow too broad: Do not mistake your brand lover for your brand as a heavy user! E.g. I love Gatorade, except for when VitaminWater is on sale! That is a heavy user, not a lover. Love has to do with an emotional connection to your brand. If you show scenarios or ask consumers for their opinions, even those that don’t care will respond. So don’t necessarily go too broad.
Pursue the why: Don’t focus so much on the what, but try to get more into the why. Many are overwhelmed with so many whats and hows, which doesn’t help. Foe example, Gatorade’s ad focuses only on why to buy it by sending a message across, without focusing on its flavors, line extensions, etc. Similar for the iPhone photo app, which only focuses on the pleasure of photography.
What factors affect brand love? Functional perceptions, relaxation when shopping, price and value, and tradition – at least for retailers. For consumers, Doritos offered a DIY approach that was quite fascinating, as seen below in a pre and post research set.
A helpful tip: don’t go fix what you do bad, but emphasize what you do great. A la Walmart.
Overall, a fascinating antithesis of classical research by Pepsico and GFK.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on @sssourabh.