Article on defining a beloved brand
The more loved a Brand, then the more powerful and valuable that Brand is.
In the consumer’s mind, brands sit on a Brand Love Curve, with brands going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally becoming a Beloved Brand for Life. At the Beloved stage, demand becomes desire, needs become cravings, thinking is replaced with feelings. Consumers become outspoken fans. It’s this connection that helps drive power for your brand: power versus competitors, versus customers, versus suppliers and even versus the same consumers you’re connected with. The farther along the curve, the more power for the brand. It’s important that you understand where your brand sits on the Love Curve and begin figuring out how to move it along towards becoming a Beloved Brand.
With each stage of the Brand Love Curve, the consumer will see your brand differently. The worst case is when consumers have “no opinion” of your brand. They just don’t care. It’s like those restaurants you stop at in the middle of no-where that are called “restaurant”. In those cases, there is no other choice so you may as well just name it restaurant. But in highly competitive markets, you survive by being liked, but you thrive by being loved. Be honest with yourself as to what stage you are at, and try to figure out how to be more loved, with a vision of getting to the Beloved Brand stage.
As a rule, everything starts and ends with the consumer in mind. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. And then find a way to match up your brand’s natural strengths to what your consumer is looking for, to develop a competitive advantage that you can satisfy better than anyone else. Talk in terms of benefits, a balance of rational and emotional. If you keep talking features, you’ll never truly capture the consumer. They don’t care about what you do, until they get something from it. You have to intimately know your consumer and build a relationship with consumers. It’s that relationship at that Love It stage that becomes a source of power, which can be leveraged to gain share, drive sales, increase price or extend usage, all of which helps to drive growth and profits which then has an impact on the overall value for their brand. Execution matters as much as strategy. There’s a certain magic in the way a brand strategies can be executed to connect with the consumer. The more you love your work, the more they’ll love your brand.