Brands that go ‘above and beyond’ customer expectations are most likely to win loyalty, according to new research that identifies six key drivers of brand love.
Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon, introduces its Brand Love Index, a new global research study revealing the key factors that drive consumers to love brands with 32% of UK consumers’ love for a brand determined by it going above and beyond.
There are six key drivers of brand love, and a brand can be measured by how well it:
• Exceeds needs by raising the bar and bringing the best in quality, design and performance.
• Sets trends by changing the game and innovating in ways that keep consumers excited about what’s next.
• Shares values by showing that it cares about more than the bottom line by supporting issues that are meaningful to consumers.
• Builds trust by delivering on its promises to consumers and building a relationship based on dependability and communication.
• Elevates experiences by creating experiences that stand out and are consistent, engaging and memorable.
• Respects consumers by making them feel valued through meaningful and personalised experiences.
Oath worked with Kantar, one of the world’s leading research, data and insight companies, to analyse data from more than 150,000 consumers across 13 countries, in order to define six drivers of brand love that span industries, age, gender and nationality – revealing results of what actually moves consumers.
“Building a successful brand is more complex than ever, but it’s clear that love is the most important ingredient to creating long term affinity and ultimately driving sales,” said John DeVine, Chief Revenue Officer, Oath. “At Oath, we’re passionate about building brands people love and therefore the insights from our new Brand Love Index will help our global partners adapt their strategies to create more meaningful connections and deliver on what consumers really want.
“We are excited to work with our advertising partners to determine their brand love score, a proprietary metric derived from the Brand Love Index, to help ensure their marketing campaigns and messages are impacting it, in addition to driving awareness and purchase intent.”
What Drives Brand Love
Brand Love can be broken down into six key drivers which are measured by how well it exceeds needs, sets trends, shares values, builds trust, elevates experiences, and respects consumers. By analysing these drivers, the Brand Love Index revealed the following insights to help marketers build love amongst their consumers for their brand.
1. Outperform and overdeliver
o UK consumers follow their hearts, but only to a point. How a product works and what it does is more important than feelings alone. A brand’s ability to exceed needs by doing something no other brand does, or doing it better, is the strongest driver of Brand Love (32%)
o What brands can do: Go beyond standard mobile ad units and, for example, create immersive AR ads that let consumers try out products
2. Take a stand
o Sharing values contributes to 13% of Brand Love among UK consumers and is a core driver of the emotional connection between brand and consumer
o 58% of UK consumers expect brands they love to publicly support equality and diversity, but only 21% want them to publicly support a political party
o Consumers are drawn to, and trust, brands that reflect their own values, but that’s not enough. Brands are expected to act on what they believe in and prove their commitment to various causes
o What brands can do: Speak out and use the power of storytelling through high quality branded content to make it clear what your brand stands for and connect with consumers that share your values.
3. Rethink, reinvent, repeat
o 17% of Brand Love with UK consumers is driven by a brand’s ability to set trends
o Every brand can be a trendsetter: For technology brands, the importance of this driver is actually below average. Consumers look to brands across categories to set trends
o What brands can do: Create new experiences including VR, 360 video, and live content to bring their products to life in ways which consumers haven’t seen before
4. Make it personal
o Making a personal connection and building trust with UK consumers counts for 21% of the contribution to Brand Love. It is the second most important driver in most categories and markets after going above and beyond (exceeds needs)
o Feelings towards a brand grows when consumers feel they can count on the brand (brand loyalty). However, it also grows when the consumer feels the brand understands their needs (brand admiration)
o Brands that are most successful in building relationships with brands are those that have a clear identity on who they really are – and consistently support it every time they (and partners) engage with consumers
o What brands can do: Ensure ads appear next to content that matches consumer values, and lean on data to get a complete picture of how their consumer acts across devices in order to build trust
5. Act their age
o Younger consumers in the UK place a premium on sets trends & respects consumers.
o “Exceeds Needs” contributes to roughly a third of brand love for consumers of any age.
o Older consumers in the UK place a higher value on brands they can Trust. While Trust is an important driver to all consumers, GenXers and Boomers place a higher priority on this measure (22% higher than Millennials in the UK), which is the tradeoff that older consumers make in deprioritizing Sets Trends.
Brands Building Love
There are some brands excelling in particular drivers of brand love for UK consumers. British Airways delivers when it comes to exceeding needs. BMW is driving people to love them through exceeding needs and setting trends. HSBC excels at building trust with their clients, whereas Nationwide exceed needs. Boots is among the most loved health and beauty brands: especially impressing customers by exceeding needs – with over 50% of their brand love make up being attributed to this one driver. Apple is the poster child for trendsetting in the Tech category’.
Oath’s Brand Love Index brings a new perspective by unpacking the drivers of brand love, relevant in today’s landscape, universal (across age, gender, race and nationalities) and actionable. Quantitative and qualitative consumer research and analysis was completed in Q4 2017 to create Oath’s proprietary brand love score, which was applied to the Kantar BrandZ Database, with a sample size of 159,600 across the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and the UK. To learn more, visit www.uk.love.com.