One of my pet peeves, when I was reviewing plans, is when I would see “Drive Awareness and Trial” on every brand plan, whether it was a brand new product or a 100-year-old iconic brand. To me, picking the right strategy starts with 5 key questions: 1) where are you? 2) how did you get here? 3) where could you be? 4) how can you get there? 5) what do you need to do to get there? But the question of “where are we?” is different for every brand and should help guide the strategies you choose.
Where are you on the brand love curve
In the consumer’s mind, brands sit on a mythical Brand Love Curve, with brands going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally becoming a Beloved Brand for Life. The farther along the curve you are, the more loved your brand is. That love becomes a connection and the connection becomes a power for the brand: power versus competitors, versus customers, versus suppliers and even versus the same consumers you’re connected with. And that power can be used to drive stronger growth and profitability–increased revenue, lower costs, new markets, and higher shares. For a deeper explanation, click on and read the following: Love = Power = Profit
So the Love Curve is not just about love, but it’s about power and profit. So in the simplest of terms, your goal should be to move along the curve, because driving more love eventually makes you more powerful and more profitable.
Let the brand love curve guide your strategy
It’s important that you understand where your brand sits on the Love Curve before you begin figuring out how to move it along towards becoming a more loved Brand. Then ask yourself what’s holding you back, and look at strategies to move you along the curve.
If your brand is INDIFFERENT, it means no one sees any value beyond a commodity. Every new brand starts off as indifferent because no one has clue who you are. In terms of strategy, You need to establish your brand in the mind of your consumer, to drive Awareness and Consideration. For INDIFFERENT, here are four options to consider
- Mind Shift: drive a new position or re-enforce current equity
- Mind Share: get more attention than competitors
- New News: launching something new.
- Turnaround: focused energy on opportunities, leaks
When you find your brand at the LIKE IT stage, which is where most brands reside, it means people mainly think about your brand, but never really feel anything. They pick it when they need it, and while it’s a rational decision they make, they never really think about it when they aren’t buying it. In terms of stately, you need to find a way to Separate Yourself from the pack. Brands can either be different, better or cheaper. Or else not around for very long. At this stage, you want to drive a balance of rational and emotional benefits to close the sale. That leaves four options for a LIKE IT brand to follow
- Drive Acquisition: new consumers to try.
- Drive Penetration: get consumers to use more or differently
- Consolidation: get consumers to do everything with the brand.
- Cross-Sell: getting current customers to try other brands
At the LOVE IT stage, you are seeing signs of connection with your consumer. They are starting to crave it and build it into their routines. You are a favorite brand. You want to start using that love to tug at the heart of your consumer and tighten the connection. The biggest shift here is that the brand starts to become more about the experience and not just the product. The four strategies to look at are:
- Experience: shift focus from product to experience
- Maintain: re-enforce our Brand equities.
- Deeper: consolidation or broader usage of Brand.
- New Reasons to Love: target our most loyal users first
The final stage is BELOVED, which is that rare state only a few brands love. Brands like Disney, Apple, and Coke. But be careful here not to believe your own hype because of the former beloved brands that have fallen from grace. You have to attack yourself and find ways of continuing the magic of your brand.
- Magic: Continue surprising and delighting your core followers.
- Create Feedback Loop: use social media to tighten the connection
- Leverage Power: drive value from the source of power.
- Attack yourself: continue to improve
Where is your brand on the brand love curve?
To read more about how the love for a brand creates more power and profits:
Other stories you might like
- How to Write a Creative Brief.cThe creative brief really comes out of two sources, the brand positioning statement and the advertising strategy that should come from the brand plan. To read how to write a Creative Brief, click on this hyperlink: How to Write a Creative Brief
- How to Write a Brand Plan: The positioning statement helps frame what the brand is all about. However, the brand plan starts to make choices on how you’re going to make the most of that promise. Follow this hyperlink to read more on writing a Brand Plan: How to Write a Brand Plan
- Consumer Insights: To get richer depth on the consumer, read the following story by clicking on the hyperlink: Everything Starts and Ends with the Consumer in Mind