What’s Love Got To Do With It?

April 28, 2015 / Features

By Alex Reeves

Why do brands want people to love them so badly?

If you’re a normal human being, hearing marketers talking about people loving brands can be baffling. Love is deeply personal. Can we really feel that passionately about a company that makes trainers or mobile phones? If we’re to believe a lot of the ‘thought leadership’ in advertising, the answer is yes, but how realistic is it to expect such a deep relationship between brands and consumers?

Neil Davidson is Managing Partner of agency HeyHuman, who have recently done some behavioural research on this subject that uncovered that 75% of people define easyJet as a “friend with benefits”; 60% have a “secret fling” with McDonald’s and 70% still have a “special relationship” with the NHS. Having watched him questioning the notion of ‘brand love’ at Advertising Week Europe, we interviewed him to go a little deeper into the subject.

 

The Beak Street Bugle: What’s your problem with the phrase ‘brand love’?
Neil Davidson:
‘Brand love’ is one of those terms that people in marketing all use regularly. It just drops into conversation. But I wonder how often people just nod and say, ‘of course we want brand love,’ without really questioning what we mean by that. Its attractiveness is also its danger. You would never criticise brands for aspiring for people to love them – but for me, it’s quite often too simplistic and also doesn’t dissect what that definition really looks like.

So, way back when, we used to talk about ‘Lovemarks’ [a concept coined by Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts] – which is incredibly emotionally engaging and aspirational. It gets people up in the morning! Doing new things for the brand! Actually, though, how directional and helpful is it? To me, that’s the big challenge.

It’s being aware that there are other ways to go that may be easier to achieve, more effective for the brand and quicker. There’s been a lot of research into human relationships; less research on brand relationships. Think about how many types of relationships you have in your personal life – and then think about how many different types of love relationships you have in your personal life. ‘Love’ would never be the one descriptor for all of those: there’s paternal love; there’s broader family love, there’s ‘true’ love, there’s love of friends... etc. And yet, when it comes to brands, we just talk about ‘love’!

Love has got many forms for brands. Understand what type of love you want. Or, do you actually want brand love?

BSB: Is it even possible for people to feel emotions like love for a made- up entity such as a brand?
ND:
The challenge is that you’re talking about something that’s either not real, or else is ‘just’ a physical object. Can you feel love for something? This is one of the things we’ve researched. And we found some people would talk about it in those kinds of terms – but they wouldn’t make it as simplistic as: ‘I love that brand.’ They would talk about a certain type of relationship with a brand that is in the love space, but they would describe it differently.

A good example is how everybody always talks about Apple. Interestingly, a lot of marketing people talk about how people ‘love Apple’ as a brand. However, in our research people talked about Apple being their ‘best friend’ rather than a brand that they had a love relationship with. Obviously that overlaps – but my question would be: What would Apple do differently if they thought their opportunity was for a ‘best friends’ relationship rather than a ‘love’ relationship? Which one is more forgiving? Which one takes you in one direction and which one takes you in a different direction?

Another bit of research found that if you build up a trust relationship as a brand, people are less likely to forgive you if you do something wrong. Whereas, if you set up a more light-hearted relationship, you are more likely to be forgiven. It’s interesting if you looked at, say, a Lloyds or a Barclays versus the brand that is Virgin; they’re both in financial services. You could argue, on that piece of research, that people are more likely to forgive Virgin the next crash, the next indiscretion, the next overcharging. For financial services brands, it’s in the folklore: ‘We must build trust.’ Well, maybe you should – but once you build a serious relationship then you’ve delineated what that relationship is all about. Whereas, if you’re Virgin and it’s kind of ‘Live your life!’, ‘Embrace the world!’ – slightly cheeky, based on Richard Branson – then almost inadvertently they’re setting up a relationship that’s delineated differently. People could be more forgiving when a Virgin brand messes something up. I don’t think people talk about that.

The interesting thing, for me, is if we’re going to use useful and thoughtful parallels between brand relationships and human relationships. So, for example, how often do you have a friend who you probably see once a week, which for various reasons might be four times more than you see your family? You don’t necessarily have to build a deep relationship to have a regular relationship. This challenges some of the CRM [customer relationship management] thinking: What is CRM about? How does it work? Is it like your mate who’s always texting saying: ‘Do you want to go to the pub tonight?’, so you end up going to the pub? Or is it like your mum, who makes you feel you should go and see her once a month?

BSB: So, deep, loving relationships might not be as desirable as regular, friendly ones?
ND:
I know that personally I fly easyJet more than I might, just because I can book a flight on my mobile app. Now that I’ve discovered the British Airways app, things might go slightly differently there – it’s that ease point.
People talk about UX [user experience] and things like that being incredibly important. I think, in a lot of ways, this research elevates disciplines like UX to a different level. It’s not just about removing barriers; it’s about doing things that will create a much more emotionally engaging relationship. It does seem that the research that’s been done on this is saying it’s creating these emotionally positive responses in the brain, which previously we used to just talk about as ‘brand love’, or something like that. It muddles with that spectrum.

Maybe UX isn’t sexy, but when you think about brands such as Über and others that just deliver somebody else’s service, brands which are on the rise, then the ones that are going to win and create an emotional engagement are the ones that are using technology to make it easy. That isn’t necessarily sexy, but I wonder whether sometimes these brands that will come up will be because they’re created by people who don’t even know the old market models. For them it’s just: ‘How do I make somebody’s life better?’

There has got to be an emotionally engaging part to this as well, but if I always know that with, say, thetrainline.com I’m always going to pay a pound more – because that is the charge – then me thinking it’s a cuddly brand is only going to be part of the equation. They’ve got to make life easier as well for me to make me think: ‘It’s only a pound.’

So the old rules still apply: appeal to people’s most basic motivations, connect with them and do it in a simple way. That doesn’t mean you can’t use whizzy technology, but it does mean you should think about the level of complexity that you might be tempted to create just because you can.
BSB: Do you think too many brands aspire to being loved when they might do better fostering a more pragmatic relationship with people? ND: There will always be brands that pull it off. They will be the ones that always get quoted whenever anyone does a workshop where people say: ‘My favourite brand is... ’ I suppose the challenge is, where human beings run a brand, then people want to get up in the morning and think they’re either working on a brand like that, or striving to create a brand like that.

Even going back to old brands, Waitrose giving away a free newspaper and free coffee at the weekend isn’t sexy, but on another level it’s genius! It shows they understand their audience and what matters to that audience in terms of making their life better. You don’t need technology to do that. The amount of people I hear waxing lyrical about their free coffee and newspaper from Waitrose! It’s not a big thing, but it’s sometimes going to be the little things that are disproportionately important.

I’d really want brands to ask what kind of relationship they want and why – before they go: ‘We want to be loved.’ Because we all know that in real life, people who walk about going ‘I want to be loved by everybody!’ aren’t necessarily the most balanced people!

I think we want it both ways as brands. We want to steal the human relationship analogies, but we also want to ignore the bits that ‘aren’t helpful’ – even though they are actually helpful. Is it realistic for every brand to be loved? Of course not. How many types of love are there? There isn’t just one type. How many other types of relationships are there? And why are we ignoring that?

‘Lovemarks’ is a brilliant sales pitch, but Lovemarks has been around for a long time now and the world has changed. It’s time to look a bit deeper at the brand relationship.

Comments (17)

  • I’m sorry, Neil old boy, if you think everybody would forgive any of tax-avoiding, taxpayer-subsidy-junkie companies fronted by Beardie Branson their incompetence because of their ‘cheeky’ attitude, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    by J Peasemold Gruntfuttock on 2015 07 10

  • Wow! Your post obviously very informative. Thanks for sharing your idea. I will back again soon.

    by XNXX on 2015 07 12

  • nice one
    bbc

    by guest on 2016 10 20

  • These kind of articles are always attractive and I am happy to find so many good point here in the post, writing is http://essaysreviews.org/ simply great, thanks for sharing

    by Anna Grey on 2017 12 11

  • Most the New Love story Movies are Not available on youtube before its telecast on television but terrarium tv app gives free chance to stream those Love story movies in Hd with internet data connection.Download terrarium tv ios from https://terrariumtvappdownloads.com/terrarium-tv-ios-iphone-ipad/ And use this link https://terrariumtvappdownloads.com/terrarium-tv-kodi-add-on/ to download on Kodi.Terrarium tv is a best Branded new App in the category Of movie apps

    by derty on 2018 01 09

  • Archery King Hack & Cheats This is one of the best method.You should try this!. Enjoy it! Generate Unlimited Resources with Our Newly Released Online Resources Generator Tool its 100% Working and also Free Tool,

    by john barlow on 2018 02 21

  • For some people, brand gradually becomes an emotion. Take an example of Starbucks. Watch favorite movies and tv shows anywhere with Terrarium tv. Download terrarium tv apk https://downloadterrariumtvapp.com/download-terrarium-tv-apk/
    Great thing is you can download terraium tv on PC also https://downloadterrariumtvapp.com/terrarium-tv-pc-laptop/
    Download terrarium tv on your device and start streaming your favorite movies and tv shows anywhere and anytime

    by Jason on 2018 02 23

  • Terrarium TV Apk(https://terrariumtvappk.com/terrarium-tv-apk/ is your newest heartthrob from the complimentary Movies & TV Shows segment. Together with Terrarium TV, you are able to stream tens of thousands of free entertainment stuff for your apparatus https://terrariumtvappk.com/ . That’s exactly why we developed the site to indicate one of the primary TV Shows & Movies App is known as Terrarium TV. http://www.terrariumtvz.com/terrarium-tv-apk/

    I was constantly considering the Program that has the more standard to conquer the best movies Program named Showbox. And my fantasies today come accurate because of Terrarium TV No Ads Apk- http://www.terrariumtvz.com/terrarium-tv-download/ Yes! .Terrarium TV Apk is your best Showbox killer accessible for Android using more attributes, clean interface, & even more HD streaming resources.

    If you’re the TV shows & Movies enthusiast like me, then you need to learn more about Terrarium TV today. Get Terrarium TV latest version from here- http://www.terrariumtvz.com/

    Terrarium TV functions as a normal Android program runs with assistance from advertisements. And should you would like to eliminate advertisements, you can buy the superior version.

    Download Terrarium TV for Android No Ads- https://www.acmarketapk.com/acmarket-apk-download/


    Method 1: Empower Unknown sources on Android

    The Android operating system doesn’t support Setup of APK’s by default. Thus, we must permit the choice to make it take the APK file.

    For that,

    1- Proceed, then click Safety

    2- Today, locate the choice Unkown resources, and empower it.

    3- Today, you want to download the Terrarium-TV. APK file to your own Android apparatus. Here’s the only real download link, click here.

    4- When the downloaded telling appears on the display, then It is fine. If your cell phone doesn’t obtain download info, then you want to discover the APK file in the file manager.

    5- After you locate the APK file, click it.

    6- Terrarium TV for Android installation will be completed in 2-3 minutes.

    Terrarium TV Download For Android Box:


    Android box apparatus is uncommonly unique, and most of us have that device within our homes. So, do you really wish to enjoy boundless Movies & Shows without paying? Then you have to have a look at the thread we started to Install the Program on Android Box.

    Terrarium TV App For Fire TV or Firestick


    However, people are handling their entertainment resides together with Amazon Firestick or Fire TV apparatus. We constantly remember every TerrariumTV consumer to acquire support out of the side. That motivates us to come up with a ribbon to describe things related Amazon apparatus. Here it is possible to input in the thread where you are able to find Setup of Terrarium TV on Fire TV or even Firestick.

    Install Terrarium TV For KODI


    There’s not any repo individually designed for KODI but let me ask 1 question? Why do you require TerrariumTV to get KODI if you can install the APK document on each system that supports Android? However, find out what exactly about KODI upgrades from this thread.

    And, I recommend you to read TerrariumTV vs. KODI to know my points.

    Terrarium TV Free Download For iOS (iPhone/iPad)


    We’re sorry to notify you that Terrarium TV Apk Free Download remains under development for iOS apparatus. There’s absolutely no official.IPA or anything in our side. You may try other famed Programs like Movie Box, Cinema Box, & Movie HD in your own apparatus. We advise you to bookmark the ribbon we printed on iOS (iPhone/iPad) to get updates from us. If you want Terrarium TV No ads version for free, just download it from Acmarket Apk store.

    Terrarium TV vs. Showbox


    I think TerrariumTV is the most convenient than Showbox App. Since the Showbox isn’t acting economically today, I changed to Terrarium-TV. APK and I guessed this Program is your authentic Showbox killer. Anyways, browse the entire comparisons, differences, and more stage on Showbox vs. Terrarium Television thread. I recommend you to install Terrarium TV For PC and enjoy watching free movies online.

    Characteristics Of Terrarium TV:


    You Will watch latest released Films; Newest aired TV shows at No Cost on Terrarium TV for pc.
    Total HD (1080p & 720p) tools are offered for every single movie.
    There’s download choice available to see offline.
    Subtitles are accessible & multi-language support.
    Streaming is indeed quickly since it utilizes the majority of the time, Google Drive & Google videos.
    TV shows & Films are updated every day.
    To get any uncompleted video immediately, it is possible to bookmark.
    So many celebrity videos are accessible to flow straight.
    It’s possible to throw Films or TV shows with chromecast.

    by Rahul on 2018 03 19

  • Very informative article. Thank you for sharing this article with us. I will back for more article like this on this site. You can also get showbox app for your android, iOS or other device from https://showbox.one/ It he.lps you to easily enjoy latest movies and videos for free.

    by showbox.one on 2018 03 21

  • Awesome article. Thank you for sharing such a great article with us. Keep It up.
    You can also get Terrarium app for your android, iOS or Roku device from http://www.terrariumtvfreeapkdownload.com/how-to-install-terrarium-tv-on-roku-tv/
    It helps you to easily enjoy latest movies and videos for free.

    by TvTerrarium on 2018 04 30

  • I was looking at some of your articles on this site and I believe this internet site is really instructive! Keep on posting .

    by <a href="http://pocketmortyrecipes.co/pocket-mo on 2018 06 04

  • Valuable information, I have already been searching for several times but this one is the correct one! You have just received one shared!
    http://pocketmortyrecipes.co/pocket-mortys-quests/http://pocketmortyrecipes.co/pocket-mortys-guide/
    http://pocketmortyrecipes.co/

    by Guest on 2018 06 04

  • by Entrar No Hotmail on 2018 06 09

  • latest version free stardewvalleydownload.com

    by stardewvalleydownload.com on 2018 06 10

  • yes It’s really amazing blog. i love this information while reading this. thanks for sharing.
    you can follow the below link to know more about the
    https://terrariumtvforpcwindows.com/showbox-for-iphone-ipad-download-app-ios/

    by Mr.jack son on 2018 06 13

  • Brand.. people always will like brand. if your a streaming lovers kindly visit below website.

    http://redboxtvdownloadapp.com/redbox-tv-for-pc-windows-1078-mac/

    by james paulkner on 2018 06 14

  • Hotmail Konto
    hgfhgf

    by Hotmail Konto on 2018 06 14

Post a new comment