The qualitative studies found that subjects identified these ten characteristics for brands they loved:
- The brand is the best in every way from value, to key attributes, to experience.
- The brand connects to something deeper than its functional benefits. (e.g. Apple represents creativity and self-actualization.).
- The brand creates emotional benefits like being happy (e.g. “Pinkberry frozen yogurt makes me smile.”).
- The brand provides self-expressive benefits and high levels of word-of-mouth buzz.
- The brand generates affection and warm-hearted feelings.
- There is a natural fit and harmony between the user and the brand they love.
- The brand stimulates a desire to maintain proximity to the brand and even feeling “separation distress.”
- The brand engenders a willingness to invest time, energy and money into loved brands
- The brand is somehow involved in frequent, interactive contact with the consumer.
- There is a long-standing relationship history.
So what does this mean for you and your clients, and the marketing programs you develop?
Well, it is certainly a validation of the need to understand and communicate the emotional benefits, not just the attributes of your brand. But more than that, I think it says that brands should be treated as a living, breathing extension of their users if they want to be "loved".
And if they want to have a loyal user base.