Through independent consumer research, we identified key facets that define brand love, providing insights into what fosters or hinders customer-brand relationships. We found that there are three core areas crucial to cultivating brand love: quality, customer experience, and trust. Our research has underscored that investing in these aspects can lead brands to achieve brand love “nirvana.”
How did we come to these conclusions? By drawing from a comprehensive survey of 3,375 consumers evaluating over 1,150 brands across nine industries, we were able to create a framework for measuring what is brand love with a customer’s “inner” and “outer” circle of love. Brands that occupy the inner circle are deeply loved by consumers, while those in the outer circle are avoided by them. By contrasting the two, we are able to better understand the factors that drive brand love and those that lead to brand breakups.
Quality emerges as a primary driver of what is brand love, especially in industries like automotive, consumer electronics, and beauty. However, quality is intertwined with trust, as consumers increasingly rely on recommendations from friends and family to gauge quality:
Customer experience, the journey customers undertake with a brand, plays a pivotal role in sustaining brand love:
The level of familiarity customers have with a brand directly influences how much they trust it. Customers who are already familiar with your brand are more inclined to trust it compared to those who are unfamiliar. Moreover, the context in which they come across your brand matters significantly. Trust is more likely to be established if they learn about your brand from someone they already trust or if it’s already associated with a positive experience in their minds.
While some factors affecting trust may be beyond a brand’s control, brands can control who they affiliate themselves with—and they should only affiliate themselves with causes, organizations, and ideas that align with the values of their core customers. As a result, consistency and authenticity are important for cultivating trust among customers.
Based off of these insights, we believe brands need to design, build, and run brand love through purposeful branding, personalized relationships, and continuous improvement of customer experiences. The findings underscore that brand love is not only attainable but also essential for businesses seeking to thrive in a competitive landscape.
To dig deeper into the data, download the report.
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