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Do You Choo-Choo-Choose a Brand?

"Love" and business.

Ever fall in love with a brand so deeply that you feel like they are a part of your own identity?

Some people are head over heels with fashion labels like Coach and Louis Vuitton. Some are gushing over their favourite car company, like Ferrari lovers who deck themselves out in head to toe red with the prancing horse logo proudly on display. Others make television shows like The Simpsons almost a way of life, as we see with so many Valentine's references to poor Ralph's broken heart.

To me, I am madly in love with A&W. I could eat a Teen Burger combo with onion rings and gravy every day of the week, and still want more. In fact, even if I just enjoyed lunch somewhere else, it takes all my willpower to walk past an A&W and not stop in for that sweet burgery goodness.

Why do I love it so much? It's probably a combination of the nostalgia and, well, the salt. But it really stems from when I was a kid and my parents taking me there. They would tell me stories of how they'd also go to A&W way back when. My brother and I would look at all those black and white rollerskating photos displayed on the restaurant wall and daydream about what life was like for my folks when they were younger, eating burgers in the same spot 30 years before.

So eating a Teen Burger became much more than just having some tasty fast food. It was a meaningful bonding experience where their brand became synonymous with family. A&W had achieved the holy grail of advertising & marketing—they made me connect to their brand in a deeply emotional and intrinsic level, and I will forever be in love with them.

So how do companies do this, and how can you achieve this with your brand and customers? There may not be a silver bullet, but as we open our hearts to Valentine's Day, we thought we'd explore how brands connect to their customers and make the feeling of "love" a top priority.

These great articles below discuss the phenomenon of brands and emotion. Learn what they have to say when it comes to connecting to consumers through the power of love.

Brandspeak: Finding Brand Love in a Swipe Left World

"Is Tinder, perhaps, a microcosm of the relationship between brands and consumers today? A barrage of thoughtfully-prepared content vying for our attention and a high rate of rejection? 

"How can brands increase the odds of getting their desired audiences to “swipe right”? …

"I propose that it requires a deeper understanding of how split-second decisions are made, and the use of more effective ways to connect with people at a subconscious level. And you may be surprised to hear that the strategic use of music and sound can be an effective solution."

Read full story…

The Eight Phases of Brand Love

“I really think of Diet Coke as my boyfriend.”

"A wave of laughter hit the focus group observation room that was so loud that I’m sure the respondents could hear us on the other side of the 2-way mirror. Did that woman really say she thought that Diet Coke was like her boyfriend?

"Commitment, intimacy, dependability—she felt all of these, not about Diet Coke, but from it. She loved it as a constant companion, a support mechanism and a celebratory friend. At the time, I thought this was preposterous. We can’t connect with products the same way we connect with people!"

Read full story…

Why Do We Like Brands As Much As We Like People?

"We’ve all done it: used the L-word in reference to a certain favorite brand. The common assumption is when we say "I love Coke" (or whatever product we fancy), we’re using love as a lazy stand-in for whatever true, presumably lesser emotion we’re feeling—"contributing to the trivialization of the word," as Don Draper once vented. But what if consumers who say they love a brand actually mean it with the same emotional intensity they do when referring to a beloved person?"

Read full story…

Brand Love. What Is It? [New Study]

“I love that brand!”

"It’s the holy grail of marketers, but what actually is ‘brand love’?

"Brand love is very different to human love finds a new study out this month in Psychology and Marketing warning marketers against using the L word in marketing. At least not that L word.  People may like brands, but not love them, and the analogy between the love we experience for people and the feelings we experience for brands may ultimately be misleading and lead to bad marketing decisions. …

"…a trademark is not a person and your emotional attachment to it is unlikely to be love."

Read full story…

What brands do you love and why? Tell us who you choo-choo-choose in the comments below.

Mark Glucki

Mark has been developing digital blog communities for 10+ years that connect business and tech pros with their inspirational stories. He developed a North American best practice for creating positive experiences on social media networks and spends as much time learning about entrepreneur success stories as he does producing content for others to enjoy. Mark is also a commercial photographer focusing on product and location images. His work can be seen at Wonderlab Photo.

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