Why Brand Love is the metric that matters
The Beatles were right - All we need is Love… and so does your brand.
Brand love is becoming central to modern marketing and communications practices. With the Cannes Lions happening last week, we saw an ocean of marketeers flooding their feed with terms like ‘purpose’, 'engagement', and now the most recent metric that certainly deserves our attention, ‘LOVE’.
Business leaders pore over metrics such as impressions, likes, video plays and open rates in order to improve engagement, build brand loyalty and ultimately meet sales goals.
But simply measuring engagement is yesterday’s way of marketing. A funny video or a clever ad will catch people’s attention for a few moments, but it won’t create a memorable interaction or a lasting impression. Your audience may engage briefly with this kind of marketing, but then they’ll forget about it and carry on with their day.
Brand Love goes beyond engagement, Love is all about entanglement.
We saw numerous case studies this year and they all had one thing in common: successful brands don’t focus on engagement; they aim for love. You want customers to be so intertwined with your brand that they can’t imagine living without it. As research from Harvard business professor Gerald Zaltman pointed out, in How Customers Think, we all have a non-rational disposition towards certain brands. ‘Brand love’ is a literal reality, the non-rational attraction or unconscious ‘pull’ that certain brands exert over potential customers.
Of course, people don’t love brands in the same way they love family or friends – that would be plain silly. However, we see a positive correlation between brands that have a high brand love score and the likelihood of their consumers to trust and recommend that brand to family and friends.
Be authentic and Make Brand Love a priority
Nike, for example, understands how its brand attributes align with the demographics of its core audience. While it may alienate some consumers in the short term, in the long term, Nike has benefited from a longstanding history of socially provocative advertising that keeps its brand culturally relevant which ultimately draws consumers closer to the brand.
You can’t try to go down the middle of the road. You have to take a stand on something, which is why the Kaepernick ad won our attention, conversations and hearts.
Nike proved the value of knowing their brand, but more importantly, knowing how to emotionally connect to their audience.
This campaign paid off for Nike in more ways than one. Despite taking on a controversial figure and issue, Nike knew it was staying true to its key consumer and established brand values.
Results: 163.5M in earned media and a 31% boost in sales, with a 12% increase of brand love. The campaign saw Nike's stock price rise to an all-time high and created $6bn in brand value, making it the most successful campaign in the brand's history.
Sources: CNBC, 06/18; Fast Company, 05/19; CampaignLive 06/2021
Why is it important to track Brand Love?
Today, it is no longer about people who like your brand; it is all about those who simply love it. Brand love results in sustained loyalty, intention to pay a premium price and positive word-of-mouth. Consumers who are really in love with a brand, will stick to it in order to avoid separation distress. This is the reason why Brand Love keeps marketers awake at nights, leaving them to wonder how to get consumers to fall in love with their brand and maintain it. Marketing and communications will keep evolving, but the core principle to build consumer connections will continue to be brand love. The movement beyond engagement is a top priority for all business executives. Love is, and will always be, at the very heart of building brand equity and reaching your KPIs as a manager.
You can do it too!
After years of research, I am glad to share a propriety tool and methodology that helps managers to measure brand love and implement it into their campaigns, bringing the metric that matters to the heart of your strategy. We found that every experience, big or small, can foster a meaningful connection between a customer and your brand. As your customers’ behaviour changes, we are here tracking their touchpoints, offering these innovative solutions, and making insights more meaningful to your business and, above all, supporting your career success.