Valentine’s Day Special: Our Love For Brands & Brand Love
February has finally arrived, a month that has long been celebrated as a month of romance – a time to remember and appreciate our loved ones. And what better way to mark Valentine’s Day than to launch our new brand tracking metric – Brand Love! Available to all new and existing Vision One clients to delve deeper into the consumer-brand relationship; how deep is your (brand) love?
Love Through The Ages (A Brief History Of Brand Love)
Introduced by Shimp and Madden (1988), Brand Love has gained a lot of interest from market researchers in recent years, and for a good reason!
Brand love is concerned with the formation of emotional bonds in Consumer-Brand Relationships (CBRs), the likes of which both parties might have with other people! Interestingly, Brand Love is related to the consumer’s emotional attachment to the brand, which is characterised by a strong positive emotional experience related to the brand, leading to the brand dominating the cognition of the consumer, causing them to interact more with the brand, and reinforcing the CBR (Nawaz et al., 2020).
Such relationships appear to be an essential component in the success of a brand and appear to be closely linked to brand equity and positively associated with consumer purchase behaviour and loyalty, particularly in competitive markets!
Researchers have suggested that, for a consumer to truly feel love for a brand, the brand becomes integrated into the consumer’s sense of self (Ahuvia, 1993). This certainly explains why consumers are so loyal to the brands they love!
The takeaway: To be successful in competitive markets today, every brand should focus on developing and maintaining successful long-term CBRs, and Brand Love is the perfect metric for measuring this.
BrandVision, the Brand Wheel and Brand Love
Given Brand Love’s importance, this metric now makes up one of our eight key metrics in Brand Equity wheel, BrandVision’s benchmark for Equity measurement, combining the best practices from Psychological Research, Marketing Research, Behavioural Economic Theory and System 1 Thinking.
Each metric allows us to identify a brand’s strengths and weaknesses and generates an overall Brand Equity score which can be tracked over time. BrandVision gives our clients the essential tools to understand how their brand sits alongside competitors, giving you the insights you need to better understand and develop your brand to help it grow and flourish!
In the wheel, Brand Love sits alongside Emotion under our ‘Delight’ theme, and a score is generated by evaluating Love on three powerful facets; Relevance, Need and Trust.
There is a multitude of reasons for brands to focus on becoming loved by their consumers, all of which focus on increased profitability, wider reach, and increased stability, Brand Love really is an amazing thing.
Research has shown that strong emotional bonds between a consumer and a brand can boost the likelihood of paying a premium, enhance brand loyalty and commitment, fortify the consumer against negative press related to the brand, adopt its innovations more quickly, increase brand durability, and even increased likelihood of the consumer spreading positive information about the brand to others and becoming a brand advocate (Schmid & Huber, 2019). Brand Love is also found to be a strong predictor of overall brand equity. It looks like consumers really support and advocate for those they love.
Consumers encounter many brands for any one product or service in their daily lives…but they only form strong emotional bonds with a select few brands (Schmid & Huber, 2019; Thomson et al., 2005).
With the multitude of benefits that come with being a loved brand, the competition for consumer affection is fierce.
Chocolate Case Study
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we conducted research on chocolate gift box brands using our powerful strategic brand tracking system; BrandVision.
The act of gifting chocolate has been around since the Aztecs and the Mayans, but it wasn’t until 1853 that the first chocolate box was created by Richard Cadbury, the Son of the founder of Cadbury. The chocolate box has been a time-honoured symbol of love and appreciation and is regularly bought and received by lovers worldwide on Valentine’s Day. In the U.S., an annual $36 million is spent on chocolate gifting on Valentine’s Day. Each year, Valentine’s Day spending increases dramatically due to inflation, with 2023 set to be the highest Valentine’s Day spending on record.
Heroes, Lindt and Celebrations came out as the brands most loved among the consumers that we spoke to, including most trusted, most needed and most ‘for them’. Although Guylian performed well, it received less Brand Love compared to it’s competitor brands.
When we asked consumers whether they would consider purchasing from each of these brands, Celebrations was the front runner with 63% of the sample agreeing, closely followed by Heroes and Lindt, with 60% of the sample agreeing. In line with their Brand Love score, only 40% agreed that they would consider purchasing from Guylian.
Similarly, when we asked consumers which chocolate gift box brands they had purchased from in the last 12 months, Celebrations was purchased in 48% of the sample (the highest amount), with Heroes (43%) and Lindt (37%) slightly less, and Guylian purchased by only 18% of the sample.
DISCOVER YOUR BRAND LOVE TODAY
Contact us today to measure your Brand Love to see how you sit amongst your competitors and to learn how to become a best loved brand.