Loyalty and Feelings.

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Kevin Perlmutter, a fellow alum of McCann-Erickson NY and now owner the brand consultancy Limbic recently posted about a piece of research suggesting “How your brand makes people feel has the highest correlation to brand loyalty.”  The observation is powerful and quite true, albeit a bit passive. 

Let’s look at two operative ideas here: feeling and loyalty.

Feeling about a brand is the result of the product itself and the positioning of that product by brand management. When Coca-Cola moved away from “refreshment” with its advertising and toward “happiness” they were looking a tangential or resulting feelings rather than an endemic feelings. The problem there was that lots of things can cause happiness. And so can lots of products. It’s ownable but only with a billion dollars. It’s a generic value. This was a campaign idea not a brand idea. Refreshment, on the other hand, can cause happiness. Happiness being a by-product of refreshment. One can earn happiness rather than position around it.

As for loyalty, nobody doesn’t want product loyalty. But one can be loyal by degree and still not have purchase intent. I like to create bias toward product purchase.  Loyalty is a marketing concept that’s been around for decades. But it’s a passive measure. Segmentation studies turn up flavors of loyalty all the time. When a consumer has a bias toward a product or service, they will go out of their way to purchase.

As much as this research is on track, in today’s analytics world where purchase is the primary measure of marketing success, I’m all for positioning around endemic product feelings/attitudes and creating bias toward purchase. “We’re Here” advertising and branding is no longer viable. Hear that Geico?

For examples of this type of work in your category please write Steve at WhatsTheIdea dot com.

Peace.