Brands lose customers because of dips in quality, scandals involving their business practices, and the ease of access to literally hundreds of other options at the push of a button. Brands do not lose loyalty because this generation isn’t as loyal as its predecessors. Brand loyalty is definitely still around, but it has changed shape according to the times.
Read more here.
Many people nowadays are turning to the Internet to receive their education from online schools and universities. Marketing professionals have much to gain from taking online; not only is it cheaper to pay the tuition for an online class, but going to school online allows you to have a flexible schedule so that you can work in your spare time. While taking online classes is easy, the process of finding the best online school is not and not every school that offers a marketing or social networking program is worth your time. To separate the best from the rest, here are a few points to consider. Continue reading
Customer communities are commonly found among many reputable lifestyle brands. Brands that embrace and harness these communities enjoy a high level of customer loyalty, which drives long-term profitability.
Brands like Apple, Oprah, Harley-Davidson, Ikea and Southwest Airlines have made their competition irrelevant through brand communities they have helped nurture over the years. But why do brand communities form? And what can we learn about them?
Psychologist Jenny Lee, a brand consultant at The Cult Branding Company, explores the social and psychological motivators that fuel the development of brand communities in a compelling new white paper.
The white paper titled, “Why We Join: A Sociological and Psychological Analysis of Brand Communities,” along with an illustrative presentation can be downloaded freely here.
Here are seven steps to take in order to create a cult brand:
- Determine how customers are emotionally connected with your brand
- Determine what your brand symbolizes in the minds of your best customers
- Support the community so that it reinforces psychological attraction customers have towards your brand
- Whenever possible create a space where your customers can meet and interact with one another – either in person or online
- Sponsor social events that reflect your brand’s mission
- Set up conditions for a fun, playful environment where friendships can be made
- Don’t control community. Instead participate as a co-creator
Gord Hotchkiss in MediaPost in an article on Brand Promises Vs. Brand Religions:
One thing that both these natures of brand have in common: ultimately they depend on the values, integrity and effectiveness of the organization that creates the brand. If the brand is a promise of a level of quality, you can’t break the promise with immunity, especially in a digitally amplified world of blogs, forums and buzz. Each of the “promise” brands I used as examples, GM, United and Microsoft, stand in danger of their promises losing all meaning with customers. A promise is only as good as the level of trust you’ve built with the recipient.
But if the brand is a religion, the culture of the organization becomes even more important. Irrational decision factors run amok: the perceived culture of the organization, how the brand label connects with who we are, the social circles it places us it, or the circles we wish it would place us in, the values the company stands for, the exclusivity of the brand. The brand relationship becomes a complex stew of beliefs and emotions. We only make this investment for brands that hold a unique position in our mindscape. We feel we have to get as much from the brand as we’re willing to give it in terms of our emotional loyalty. And if a brand doesn’t reciprocate, it is quickly downscaled from a religion to a passing fancy.
Interesting post on the subject at Branding Management:
Think of your brand as a promise … a promise you make to your clients, prospects, employees, and even your vendors. But before you make that promise, be sure you never forget this fact. It is imperative that you are able to back it up. You cannot build a successful, long-term brand on unsupported claims and wishful thinking. History is littered with companies — big and small — that have promoted themselves or their products as something they would like to have lived up to but could not.
To separate you from your competition, your brand — your promise — has to differentiate you from others in the minds of your prospects. This is the reason you cannot use quality, integrity, or price when positioning yourself in your marketplace. So many companies claim to offer these particular characteristics that none of them stand out from the others. BMW has taken note of this. Although it is thought by many to be the best car made, the company has built its brand as “a driving machine.” It sells the experience. BMW knows that there are other high quality cars on the market, so a brand built on quality would be diluted and therefore, less profitable.
Mary Foley, author of Bodacious: An AOL Insider Cracks the Code to Outrageous Success for Women, has an interesting list of 5 key lessons she learned about branding while working at AOL:
- Every company has a brand. The question is, “Is it working for you?” Creating a brand isn’t just for the big companies; it’s for companies of all sizes.
- Your brand must evoke a strong emotion. Customers buy from emotion and back it up with their head.
- Your brand isn’t a logo. It’s everything you offer, say, and do.
- Â Your brand needs constant tweaking. You have to start somewhere. So, you launch your company and brand, see what works, and you keep adjusting. What ultimately matters is what the customer thinks and feels.
Okay, I skipped the 4th point, I’ll let you (ladies) go to the original post and find it.