Fueling Positive Connections
As technology evolves, brands are increasingly shaped by their consumers. Therefore marketers need to work hard to ensure that their brands can develop positive connections with consumers so they can become brand ambassadors in their own right. We decided to investigate which factors drove the most positive types of engagement with a brand from a consumer perspective.
Drawing from the learning of our ongoing trend work, we asked a panel of 100 respondents to determine what shaped their positive impression of a brand. The 5 insight-led positive values that they chose between were if a brand:
1. Makes my life simple
2. Creates opportunities for me to build positive memories
3. Engages me to make the most out of life
4. Engages me to get the best out of myself
5. Allows me to express my creativity
6. Helps me become a societal change-agent
We found out that the brands that ‘make consumer’s life simple,’ ‘allows them to express their creativity,’ and ‘creates opportunities for me to build positive memories’ were the top three key drivers to building positive connections.
We have seen the idea of simplicity play out in a unique way this year. Not only are consumers asking for only the essential, but also for ways to bring some levity and openness to their lives. Can you strip my life of the superfluous they ask.
In terms of creativity, consumers want to not only express themselves but also figure out who they are through interacting with brands. They want to create their own identities and communities through interacting with new products in new ways.
Building positive memories seems to be something that resonates across industries and geographies. Developing a new future, sharing and collaborating with others, having an impact and being heard are all ways that allow consumers to connect positively.
When we asked respondents which brands were able to generate the strongest positive connections, Apple, Google, Ikea, Nike and Coca Cola rose to the top.
Apple occupies the ideal sweet spot between simplicity and creativity, whether it is through easy to use, and easy to upload devices and support services like the iPad, iPhone or iCloud. Apple has intuitively listened to the emotions of consumers in new ways, developed tools to allow consumers to reinvent and express their identities, as well as store and build new positive memories.
Google is so entrenched in the idea of simplicity associated with the internet that it has become ubiquitous with the idea of instant creativity and life simplification. Enabling positive connections is a theme core to Google’s foundation; its mission to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ is evident in every product it has rolled out beyond its core search engine. Google has managed to develop positive connections with consumers by anticipating their needs and offering tools to connect, express and simplify as a community. Google Drive is a perfect example of this.
Similar to Google and Apple, IKEA was founded on the basis of ‘creating a better everyday life for the many people.’ Simplicity is a key word at IKEA and a founding principle that is apparent in everything they do from the way they work to the way employees relate to one another. Consumers look beyond the hard to assemble products and are attracted to the ways the brand helps them navigate interior decorating and live smartly through unique showroom models, unique lifestyle products, and unique partnerships with creative thought leaders.
NIKE’s mission to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world inspires positive connections with its consumers and employees in many ways. NIKEiD is a great example of how the brand inspires consumers to express their creativity. This service, which can be accessed online or at NIKEiD studios, provides a unique customization experience for footwear, athletic apparel, and equipment ranging from color, materials, and performance, all the way to licensed team apparel personalization.
Coca Cola is ubiquitous with the idea of creativity and simplicity. Inspiring moments of optimism and happiness along with refreshing the world is at the heart of its value proposition of “Open Happiness.” Proof is in the pudding when the brand introduced Coca‑Cola Freestyle in 2009, an innovative fountain dispenser that allows consumers to select from more than 100 beverages and even to customize their own beverage, creating a personal mix.
So whether your brand is an established player in its category or a challenger looking to win the top spot, think about ways you can connect with your consumers through. Here are three key-takeaways:
1. Bring consumers a sense of levity through cutting out the superfluous, allowing them to be organized and lighter during the day, and re-engage them in a simple and clear positive message.
2. Allow your consumers to explore their identity through their creative expression – bring a sense of discovery, investigation and positive impact to your interaction.
3. Establish ways for consumers to build positive memories through interacting with your brand; whether that be through new channels and new services or merely thinking about moments of connection and meaning, brands that think about positive usage occasions are going to stay ahead of the game.
As you continue to push your brands into the future, think about ways you are positively connecting with your consumers and allowing them to positively connect with themselves and the world around them.
Author : Eric Zeitoun
Date : 25-04-12
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