How to build brand love

Greatness is worth striving for – our recent research suggests customers are three times more likely to recommend a brand they love, and twice as forgiving when it makes a mistake.

Key ingredients of a great brand

How do you go about building a great brand? According to the marketers it’s not all about price or customer service. These factors matter, but they’re not the key ingredients that drive greatness. Indeed, just 33% think value for money is important and 34% believe greatness is determined by customer support. You don’t need to be too original either. Whilst as communications professionals we may value a brand’s uniqueness, how unique a brand is in relation to its competitors is only important to 17% and how well it innovates matters to just 11% of the marketers we studied. Instead, they argue that great brands are those we trust (60%) and which make us feel good (58%).

How to be loved

To move on from greatness to being loved, involves a truly deep understanding of the audience. After all, loved brands have values which align with their customers’ values (55%), are closely tied with their identity (38%) and become part of their customers’ lives (42%). That’s an incredibly intimate relationship, with good communications inevitably at the heart - engendering trust, making the customer feel good, and to showing that the brand is in-step with its audience.

We also found that authenticity is crucial. An ethical policy may be important if it’s part of a brand proposition but it’s more important to be authentic. A loved brand is consistent, it’s the ‘real deal.’

Don’t confuse loyalty with apathy

An indication of love may be loyalty – but our research suggests that many brands may be misreading loyalty for apathy. After all, according to our Brand Love study, 53% of marketers think people will still stick with an ordinary brand even if it messes up twice! Customers could be putting up with some seriously bad service!

A brand may get away with this for a while, but remember this apathy cuts both ways. When that customer eventually jumps ship – which our research suggests is after three mess-ups by a typical brand – it will be hard to win them back. That’s why, as our final insight, we’d recommend that marketing teams keep a close eye on what’s coming into the customer service department.

Methodology

Energy PR surveyed over 100 leading UK marketers for the Brand Love report.

Written by Louise Findlay-Wilson, managing director of PR agency Energy PR

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