Power of brands

How Brands Earn the “L-word” Status

Have you ever found yourself saying “I love X brand” to someone? I have, and that makes me wonder how did that brand earn my love?  For a brand to earn the L-word takes time and a lot of work. Reaching the love status has to do with positive Brand Equity. Customer-based brand equity occurs when the consumers have a high level of awareness and familiarity with the brand and holds a positive association in memory.

You can think the work of a brand to start generating recognition with consumers involves having a good logo, a name that is easy to remember, and a catchy slogan, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real work is about things that are not that visible but add much more towards generating a connection with consumers. Some of these aspects include mission and goals, positioning, values, culture, etc.

In my experience, from those aspects one of the most important are values. The Harvard Business Review defines core values as “the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions [and] serve as its cultural cornerstones.” When a brand shares similar values with its consumers it can build a relationship that will generate long time loyalty because it goes beyond the products or services the brand offers. Think about your personal relationships, you form friendships and connections with people who share some of the same values and views of the world with you, the same happens with brands.

When you get to connect with your consumers on such a personal level is when you build a long-term relationship, and having those values is not just a requirement to put on a wall. Brand values have to be genuine and integrated into everything that the brand does and says. A great example of a brand that has generated that connection would be Nike, their brand values are: community, sustainability, diversity, and social responsibility. You can see how these values drive Nike’s actions, products, and communications, and being in line with that is what has helped them grow and have a space in people’s minds and hearts.

So, using the “L-word” with brands sounds like something we say every day, like “I love Target” (which I do), “I love Disney”, “I love Nike”, but if we stop for a moment we can think of what are the values we share with the brands that we love and made us create that strong connection.

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