In a world where consumers can shop wherever they want and loyalty is no longer a guarantee, how can brands stand out from the crowd and win the hearts and minds of consumers? In other words: what can brands do to make their customers fall in love with them, where does this brand love come from, and how can brands build and foster it?
In a new video series, David Shing, digital prophet at Oath, explores and dissects these questions with the help of some of the most respected and interesting minds in media, marketing, and entertainment. Shing’s in-depth conversations with these industry prodigies explore the nuanced aspects of what drives brand love, and offers one-of-a-kind insights and rare perspectives on how brands can make that crucial emotional connection with the consumer — and perhaps more importantly, how they can keep and strengthen that connection. Shing himself represents a nexus of brand and individual, thinker and marketer, and analog and digital, making him the perfect choice to lead this conversation.
Oath is home to 50+ media technology brands and is on a mission to build brands people love. Each video in the five-part series focuses on a specific aspect of brand love: how brand relationships mirror real-life personal relationships; the perils of digital distraction; designing measurement around brand love; connecting with audiences; and the cost of convenience.
The success rate of a brand is closely tied to how emotionally in tune a brand is with its customers. According to consumer research by The Playbook, 78% of people feel brands never emotionally connect with them. In the over 45s age-group, this figure goes up to 87%. Furthermore, brands that fail to connect with consumers on an emotional level is proving costly as 88% of 18-24s and 78% of 25-34s are more likely to buy from brands that align themselves to an issue or cause they are passionate about.
Commenting on the inspiration behind the series, Shing says: “I have always been struck by this idea of ‘brand love,’ even before brands started to become digital entities. We wanted to see if creative, media, brands, and entrepreneurs all thought the same about brand love, building brands, and why people care.”
He continues: “Brand love is very different from brand recognition. Not too long ago it was enough to plaster your brand up in enough places, and just hope brand recall eventually converted into sales. Now it has become less about brand recall or recognition and more about brand truth and utility. Building brand love must be core to the DNA of the brand, and they must have ways to logically measure and emotionally feel it.”
Kicking off the first episode of the series is Rob Reilly, global creative chairman at McCann Worldgroup (watch above) as he talks about how consumers are more than willing to promote brands through social networks and other mediums because they know they are getting something of value back. But in a follow-up interview with The Drum, he adds that while people may love brands, this does not automatically make them loyal.
“If something better is out there, young people will not hesitate to try it. Of course, there are exceptions like Apple, where there are still some serious fans. But as competitors like Microsoft keep improving their devices, the game might change,” he says.
The videos will be released every Thursday with a view to drive industry debate and conversations around brand love.
In the series, Shing hears from Michael Kassan, founder and CEO of MediaLink; Keith Reinhard, chairman emeritus at DDB worldwide; Rob Reilly, global creative chairman at McCann Worldgroup; Shelly Zalis, CEO and founder at The Female Quotient, The Girls’ Lounge; and Michele Silverstri, executive vice president, global chief design director at GTB.
In the next episode, on 10 August, Shelley Zalis, CEO at The Female Quotient, will discuss the role of emotional measurement in brand love.