brand love

Brand love or emotional relationships with brands

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In the world of customer engagement, it is common to hear that companies want to transform their brands into “Love Brands”.

A Love Brand is a brand that attracts customers and catches them emotionally, sticks in their mind and heart, gets ingrained there and never leaves. Love brands are brands that generate such a strong attraction in consumers that the acquisition of their products happens not only because they are preferred but because they are “loved”.

Nonetheless, becoming a Love Brand requires a lot of effort and depends on the history of the brand in the market, that is, how long the brand has been taking shape in the minds of consumers. It is difficult for a brand to become and remain the preferred one, it does not happen overnight.  Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson, Lego, Disney, Netflix, have long been studying how to approach their consumers, generating multiple campaigns and multiple events.

But although it seems that they are brands that have always accompanied us, everything has a starting point.

In this article, I will introduce the concept of Love Brand to start a small series of blog entries related to consumer engagement, which will include methodologies and case studies. But, above all, it seeks to show how, with the use of business anthropology, the relationships that companies build with their customers can be strengthened.

Love brands: Love? Relationships?

Let’s start by going a little deeper into the concept of Love Brand. What is the first thing that comes to mind?

Maybe it’s a brand that you like or maybe the question: “Why do they talk about love when it comes to economic exchanges?” Or “Who in their right mind would fall in love with a brand?” It is not the objective of this article to deepen on what love is and what it means to love or be loved, but I do want to emphasize a starting point: love is an emotion.

The concept of love is polysemic, is endowed with various meanings and also manifests itself differently according to each individual. Some may people believe that in pleasant situations any person will feel the same, because, due to our brain chemistry we generate the same types of hormones, and therefore the same types of reactions.

However, phenomena such as love should not be understood exclusively as biological or neuronal processes. This is so because the bodily response is influenced by the interpretation of the situation we are going through.

As Ghassan (2010) mentions:

Emotions move between the individual and the collective, the personal and the public, the psychological and the social.

The ways to interpret an emotion are linked to each social group, you learn with the experience of living them and seeing them in other people. It is, therefore, mainly a cultural process.

For some, raising their voices may be something that is done only during a strong discussion; for others, raising their voice is part of a friendly conversation. The same happens with love, what we understand by love, is something that we construct, learn to interpret in our way, and feel in different ways, in different situations. But above all, love is strongly linked to an essential aspect in the history and evolution of our species: building relationships.

That is where the crux of the matter is: in relationships. A Love Brand builds relationships with its customers. It creates situations that generate emotions in their customers, but those emotions are a means to build unwavering relationships.

Maintaining them is not easy, like any relationship, it requires a mutual commitment.

Many times, customers decide to accept mistakes and disappointments, be it a bad Star Wars movie, a problem in the service of Harley Davidson or a really bad taste of soda. But if it really is a Love Brand, customers will trust again. It is not rational, but passionate.

For its part, the brand must redeem itself with its followers by improving its products, interacting with consumers or rewarding them in some way, but above all, it must understand what makes them feel attracted to the brand, and what are the pain points that can lead to an unfortunate breakup.

It is at this point where anthropological research and its capability to understand the symbolism of social relations becomes absolutely essential. It contributes to understanding how customers use and acquire the brand and comprehend the processes of interaction between them.

Anthropology’s Ethnographic methodologies allow us to understand the relationship that companies and their brands have with consumers. By implementing fieldwork and holistic analysis, brands can build experiences and strategies aimed at creating communities highly committed to their brand. As we will see in future blog posts, phenomena such as communities of practice and their relationship with brand communities have a great influence on building brand-consumer relationships.

In Antropología 2.0 we carry out ethnographic research that facilitates the understanding of the different relationships established between brands and consumers. If you think the time has come for your brand to become a Love Brand, or if you want to know the cultural aspects that orbit around it, contact us.

You will be surprised by the immense value of ethnography in the construction of Love Brands.

Ghassan, H. (2010). Hating Israel in the Field.  En Davies & Dimitrina Spencer (Eds.) Emotions in the field. California: Stanford

I am interested in applying anthropology in different areas of interdisciplinary research, especially the virtual and business worlds. I have done research in epidemiology, the design of products and services, virtual communities, knowledge distribution, comparative literature, and the “classic” socio-cultural anthropology. I believe that our discipline can offer something special to all research topics, hence my interest in it.

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