It’s true what Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Miss Cleo say: love makes the world go round.
So why do people fall in love, and stay in love, with their brands?
Just like there are four chambers of the heart, here are four reasons that make consumers swoon:
1. Brands make us more of who we are.
People represent the reality of “what is”. Brands represent the cultivation of “what could be”. The brands we choose to champion are an expression of our better selves, kind of like a kaleidoscope that lets us see ourselves achieving all of our goals and desires. Attractiveness, attitude, achivements – these are a few of the things beloved brands help us see in ourselves. So it makes sense, then, that wearing a pair of Lululemon yoga pants says that we values self-love and wellness, while buying an Apple computer says that we are learning more about the world around us, while contributing to it, too. This is why key messaging is of such importance — it helps us articulate what we wish for ourselves, and how the brand can satisfy that desire.
2. Brands say what we don’t have the words for. (Like a good Hallmark card!)
Brands are successful when they align with our world views, reiterating what we know to be true through both product and service. Consumers attach meaning to brands that speak as one unified voice that “hormone-free chicken makes us healthier” or “motorcycles scream adventure”. Brands win over buyers because they excel at representing our definition of the truth, and telling stories that we can nod in agreement with.
3. Brands are reliable partners.
There’s a reason why McDonald’s is one of the most revered global brands — because it’s reliable, consistent, standardized and thus, predictable. Travelers from Missouri to Malaysia can often expect the same menu items, cooked using the same methods, and tasting nearly identical. That’s also the reason why so many parents of first-time drivers will often purchase the cult classic Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, known for the longevity of its parts and solid safety measures across all makes and models. When buyers need to have their needs met now, dependability is what matters most.
4. Brands give us a reason to stay committed.
In the branding hub, there’s been a focus on “listening” for a reason – when brands deeply listen to what their customers want, they can do a better job of giving it to them. For the beloved brand, fulfillment is everything. That reciprocity means that brand evangelists show their loyalty, and the brand continues to offer some sort of incentive to harboring a relationship with it, whether it be through customer service, perks, or loyalty benefits