Exploring ‘desirability’ as a driver of Brand Growth
What is Brand Desirability
There’s a reason why we choose certain products and brands over others. Often, it’s a conscious decision. But sometimes, it might be more instinctive based on our subconscious.
But when we are comparing one brand with another, what we’re really doing is making a judgement. We ask ourselves fundamental questions – “Which one appeals the most? Which one do I want?” We’re talking about a brand’s desirability.
The most successful, growing brands are ‘desirable’. Consumers ‘want’ their products or ‘want’ to align themselves with what the brand stands for. Desirability is a key driver of brand growth (Vision One Brand Growth Study 2021), and it’s a fascinating and important area to explore.
But what does desirability really mean? What makes a brand desirable? And how can we measure how desirable a brand is?
Are you fulfilling your customers’ practical needs?
When something is desirable, it holds some appeal. It ticks some boxes – it’s worth having. We attach value to it and are therefore willing to commit and pay. Your brand’s desirability is a reflection of how well it satisfies your consumers’ needs.
Take practical needs. Do you know exactly what your customers are looking for from your market? Desirable brands clearly convey their brand proposition so that consumers understand and are on board. They then commit to that brand because it fulfils more of their needs: It might do the job better, perhaps it offers a wider range, it might be at the right price point – or the right size, maybe the quality is markedly superior, or it might simply be that it’s easy and quick to get hold of.
A desirable brand offers more value – it satisfies a tangible need and offers a better solution than the alternatives. But desirability isn’t just about how well a brand fulfils practical needs. As consumers, we’re actually looking for something far deeper.
How does your brand make people think, act and feel?
Take two brands that both satisfy the same practical needs and our brains have to dig deeper to make a choice. Our instincts kick in – our emotional needs.
Our complex, emotional needs are intrinsically linked to every decision we make. When it comes to your brand’s appeal – its desirability – it’s vital to also explore how well your brand satisfies these needs.
How does your brand make your customers think, act and feel? Desirable brands change our lives in some way, for the better: Maybe they make us feel reassured, nostalgic, joyful, safe, confident, healthy, attractive, and important. They might make us feel included, socially accepted or part of a wider movement or perhaps they make us feel we are doing the right thing.
Take Calpol, for example. In practical terms, it soothes pain, reduces temperature, and it’s easy to get hold of. But Calpol’s real appeal stems from the emotional needs that it satisfies. It gives parents peace of mind. It reassures. It means they are more likely to get a better night’s sleep – or a moment of peace. It makes them feel supported – they feel things will get better.
Desirability and aspirations
Desirability can also be about aspirations. Sitting just out of reach for some consumers can elevate your brand’s appeal further – not being able quite to have what we want often makes us want it that little bit more.
Consumers aspire to connect with the brand because they feel it will satisfy some of their key emotional needs – but perhaps it’s too expensive or requires a change in behaviour or lifestyle that they are currently unable or unwilling to make. They revere the brand, holding it in high esteem.
For those that can buy or engage, it can act as a signal:
- Luxury brands are desirable and out of reach for many because they are expensive. Buy one, and it signals that you’ve ‘made it’. There’s a sense of achievement and pride. It can increase self-esteem and provide a sense of belonging – particularly if there’s a degree of hype attached to the brand or the product is widely revered or trending on social media.
- Sustainable brands are desirable because we aspire to align with what they stand for. Committing to engage with these brands signals our shift in priorities and values. It makes us feel good about ourselves – we feel less guilty. Think electric cars, plant-based brands, those that reduce their impact on the environment and brands that actively reduce waste.
Desirable brands are appealing because they reflect how we want to feel – or be. And those that continue to deliver on consumer needs reap the benefits with loyal customers who, in turn, reinforce and endorse the brand’s desirability to others. Desirability stimulates demand – it stimulates brand growth.
Yes. But firstly, why should we?
The fact is, desirability can dip – and brands can easily fall out of favour as consumers switch to competitor brands. Their needs change. Trends come and go. And negative press or poor reviews can quickly shift brand perceptions.
Being able to track and measure your brand’s desirability is crucial for long-term growth – it allows you to identify and address strategic weaknesses in your brand offering.
Fail to act quickly to a dip in your brand’s appeal, and you will stagnate – or slip behind. But it’s equally important to identify increases in desirability – dynamic brands will embrace this opportunity, adapting to meet their customer’s needs to boost growth further.
This is a great indicator of desirability – and monitoring and exploring the shape of your brand funnel can be very revealing. It can expose how strong your consumers’ emotional connection is with your brand, how satisfied they are at various stages of their journey and how many are moving towards being advocates for your brand. The more loyalty your consumers show, the more power and influence you have over your competition – the more likely you are to experience real brand growth.
Desirability can also be measured by exploring how well your brand performs against consumers’ 26 core needs and values. We can accurately measure and track these hugely insightful key metrics using BrandVision– our market-leading Brand Tracking tool. It digs deep to really understand your customers’ needs — including game-changing insight into their primary needs, their quality measures, expressive needs and personal or social needs.
The more positive each score, the more desirable your brand is deemed to be. Perhaps of equal importance is BrandVision’s ability to compare your brand’s performance on these key metrics with those of your competitors.
Desirable brands remain relevant
As a key driver of brand growth, desirability shows you are relevant. It’s proof that you are in tune with and fulfilling your customers’ practical and emotional needs – you can satisfy how they want to feel, think or be. And where there’s demand and loyalty, brand growth follows.
But in an ever-shifting and competitive environment, consumers’ needs change – they adapt and evolve. Maintaining and increasing your brand’s desirability requires insight. Can you identify and fulfil those evolving needs? Are consumers looking for your market to provide something different? Understand these needs and how well you perform against them, and you are in a strong position to seize opportunities, nurture brand loyalty and set yourself on the path to long-term growth.
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Desirability is not the only driver of brand growth. Click here to download our free study on the 4 key drivers of brand growth. To find out more about how to measure your brand health, or how Vision One’s BrandVision brand tracking service can provide you with strategic insight to help you fast forward your brand for growth, please get in touch.