Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers
A young woman tells a focus group that Diet Coke is like her boyfriend. A twenty-something tattoos the logo of Turner Classic Movies onto his skin. These consumers aren’t just using these brands. They are engaging in a rich, complex, ever-changing relationship, and they’ll stay loyal, resisting marketing gimmicks from competitors and influencing others to try the brand they love.
How can marketers cultivate and grow the deep relationships that earn this kind of love and drive lasting success for their brands?
In Romancing the Brand, branding expert Tim Halloran reveals what it takes to make consumers fall in love with your brand. Step by step,he reveals how to start, grow, maintain, and troubleshoot a flourishing relationship between brand and consumer. Along the way, Halloran shares the secrets behind establishing a mutually beneficial “romance.” Drawing on exclusive, in-depth interviews with managers of some of the world’s most iconic brands, Romancing the Brand arms you with an arsenal of classic and emerging marketing tools—such as benefit laddering and word-of-mouth marketing—that make best-in-class brands so successful. The book is filled with examples, strategies, and tools from powerful brands that consumers love, including Coke, Dos Equis, smartwater, the Atlanta Falcons, Domino’s Pizza, Bounty, Turner Classic Movies, and many more.
Ultimately, Romancing the Brand provides marketers with a set of principles for making brands strong, resilient, and beloved—and the insight and confidence to use them.
consumers’ perceptions of brand personalities closely mirrored their perception of human personalities. In other words, as consumers, we can be attracted to a brand not just by what it does for us functionally (following the conventional wisdom about why consumers chose products and brands), but by how well our personality fits what we perceive to be the brand’s personality. In a way not unlike Romance and the Brand | 9 how we respond to other human beings, we might even be attracted to
Deepen the Connection | 127 design, said. “We want to invite our customers to taste the flavor and quality of this spicy sandwich, but we don’t want a cattle-call setting where we won’t be able to extend ‘second mile’ service to our customers. This reservation system provides a more personalized way to introduce our exciting menu addition.”1 The perceived exclusivity of this innovative sampling program generated a significant upside not just for the new product but for the Chick-fil-A brand
that become part of the brand. This is especially true in any category that is subject to frequent technological or design advances. Brands sometimes find that changes or improvements are needed to continue to grow the relationship with the consumer. How often does Nike change the design of its shoes? Almost annually. There’s nothing wrong with the current model, but to be on the cutting edge both in performance and fashion, Nike will continue to create. INNOVATION TO ESCAPE RELATIONSHIP “RUTS”
Geritol, you’ll notice that the brand stays very close to the RDA percentage. It is remarkably consistent across all vitamins. Geritol wasn’t going to try to “out-megadose” the competition. Why not? There were two reasons. First, MCH wouldn’t 168 | Romancing the Brand be able to out-formulize a category that contained ten mega brands driven by two large companies with deep pockets. Second, and more important, was a reason that directly affected consumers. The vitamin category was operating
communicate this core idea. From their reintroduction to casual fans to their ongoing dialogue with longtime avid fans, the Falcons would communicate the core values. Smith says, “We weren’t going to create a campaign. We were going to create a movement. It was the only way we could rise up from the disappointments of the past.” It would become the team’s new personality. No Jerry Glanville or Michael Vick. The Falcons were moving away from their gimmicky past. The right message to a skeptical