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EXAMPLE LOVE = POWER = GROWTH = PROFIT Graham Robertson | President of Beloved Brands Inc.
The Brand Love CurveIn the consumer’s mind, brands sit on a Brand Love Curve, with brands going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It andfinally becoming a Beloved Brand for Life. At the Beloved stage, demand becomes desire, needs become cravings,thinking is replaced with feelings. Consumers become outspoken fans. It’s this connection that helps drive power foryour brand: power versus competitors, versus customers, versus suppliers and even versus the same consumers you’reconnected with. The farther along the curve, the more power for the brand. It’s important that you understand whereyour brand sits on the Love Curve and begin figuring out how to move it along towards becoming a Beloved Brand.With each stage of the Brand Love Curve, the consumer will see your brand differently. The worst case is whenconsumers have “no opinion” of your brand. They just don’t care. It’s like those restaurants you stop at in the middleof no-where that are called “restaurant”. In those cases, there is no other choice so you may as well just name itrestaurant. But in highly competitive markets, you survive by being liked, but you thrive by being loved. Be honest withyourself as to what stage you are at, and try to figure out how to be more loved, with a vision of getting to the BelovedBrand stage. The most beloved brands are based on an idea worth loving.It is the idea that connects the Brand with consumers. And under the Brand Idea are 5 sources of connectivity that helpconnect the brand with consumers and drive Brand Love, including the brand promise, the strategic choices you make,the brand’s ability to tell their story, the freshness of the product or service and the overall experience and impressionsit leaves with you. Everyone wants to debate what makes a great brand–whether it’s the product, the advertising, theexperience or through consumers. It is not just one or the other–it’s the collective connection of all these things thatmake a brand beloved.
Generating Love for the Brand 1. The brand’s promise sets up the positioning, as you focus on a key target with one main benefit you offer. Brands need to be either better, different or cheaper. Or else not around for very long. ”Me-too” brands have a short window before being squeezed out. How relevant, simple and compelling the brand positioning is impacts the potential love for the brand. 2. The most beloved brands create an experience that over-delivers the promise. How your culture and organization are set up can make or break that experience. Hiring the best people, creating service values that employees can deliver against and having processes that eliminate service leakage. The culture attacks the brand’s weaknesses and fixes them before the competition can attack. With a Beloved Brand, the culture and brand become one. 3. Brands also make focused strategic choices that start with identifying where the brand is on the Brand Love Curve going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and all the way to Beloved status. Marketing is not just activity, but rather focused activity–based on strategy with an ROI mindset. Where you are on the curve might help you make strategic and tactical choices such as media, innovation and service levels. 4. The most beloved brands have a freshness of innovation, staying one-step ahead of the consumers. The idea of the brand helps acting as an internal beacon to help frame the R&D. Every new product has to back that idea. At Apple, every new product must deliver simplicity and at Volvo, it must focus on safety. . 5. Beloved brands can tell the brand story through great advertising in paid media, through earned media either in the mainstream press or through social media. Beloved Brands use each of these media choices to connect with consumers and have a bit of magic to their work.Using Apple as an example, which is the most valuable brand on the planet, the big idea behind Apple is complexitymade simple. Since every great brand tackles an enemy of the consumer, Apple takes on the frustration andintimidation that consumers have with technology. The Apple brand promise is we make it easier to love technology,so that you can experience the future no matter who you are. Apple has done an amazing job in creating products thattake the most complicated of technology and deliver it so that anyone can use it. People criticize Apple for not beingthat leading edge of technology saying they just copy. But they don’t get what Apple is about. Whereas every other
geeky computer company starts with the technology and forces consumers to figure it out, Apple takes that sametechnology and makes it so simple–whether that’s the iPhone iPad or the Mac, which have made technology accessiblefor anyone. Apple knows how to tell their story, starting with the launch meeting–last week’s iPad Mini launch wascovered for days in the mainstream media. You could even watch it live on-line. Apple has made great ads over theyears, but they know how to work the media–whether that’s on CNN, technology magazines or through social mediasuch as Twitter and Facebook. Apple manages the Brand Experience to perfection–starting with the excitement oflaunches to the helpfulness of the genius bar to the out-of-box start-up of any of the Apple products. As muchexcitement as Apple generates, they always seem to over-deliver. Look how giddy people get over their iPhones andiPads. All this contribute to the Love for the Apple brand and generates a loyal following. Using the Love to Generate PowerThe 12 forces of a Beloved Brand map out how a beloved brand can leverage the power generated from being loved.A Beloved Brand with a loyal group of followers has so much more power–starting with a power over the veryconsumers that love them. These consumers feel more than they think–they are e-rational responding to emotionalcues in the brand. They’ll pay a premium, line up in the rain for new products and follow the brand to new categories.Look at the power Starbucks has with their base of consumers, making their Starbucks moment one of their favorite rituals of the day and how consumers have now added sandwiches and wraps to those rituals. All day long, Starbucks has a line up of people ready for one of their favorite moments of their day. Using Porter’s 5 forces, we can see that the love also gives Beloved Brands power over channels, substitutes, new entrants, or suppliers. People rather switch stores than switch brands. Apple has even created their own stores, which generate the highest sales per square foot of any retailer. These brand fans are outspokenagainst competitors and suppliers will do what it takes to be part of the brand. In Apple’s case, Intel has given them thelead on new chip technology.Beloved Brands have a power over employees that want to be part of the brand and the culture of the organization thatall these brand fans are proud to project. People at Starbucks love working there and wear that green apron with asense of pride. Brand fans know the culture on day 1 and do what it takes to preserve it.
Beloved Brands have a power over the media whether that’s paid, earned, social or search media. Apple generates overa billion dollars of free media via the mainstream media and social media. Competitors complain about Apple getting apositive media bias–they are right, they do. Even for paid media, beloved brands get better placement, cheaper ratesand they’ll be the first call for an Integration or big event such as the Super Bowl or the Olympics. Nike did such a greatjob with social media during the London Olympics that people thought they were the main shoe sponsor–when it wasAdidas.Beloved Brands have a power over key influencers whether it’s doctors recommending Lipitor, restaurant critics giving apositive review for the most beloved restaurant in town or Best Buy sales people selling a Samsung TV. They eachbecome fans of the brand and build emotion into their recommendation. They become more outspoken in their viewsof the brand. And finally beloved the Beloved Brand makes its way into conversation at the lunch table or on someone’sFacebook page. The brand fans are everywhere, ready to pounce, ready to defend and ready to say “hey, you shouldbuy the iPhone”. The conversation comes with influence as crowds follow crowds. This conversation has a secondpower, which creates a badge value. People know it will generate a conversation and are so proud to show it off. Afterall, they are in the club. All twelve of these forces combine to generate further power for the brand. Using the Love and Power to generate ProfitsWith all the love and power the Beloved Brand has generated for it, now is the time to translate that into growth, profitand value. The Beloved Brand has an Inelastic Price. The loyal brand fans pay a 20-30% price premium and theweakened channels cave to give deeper margins. We will see how inelastic Apple’s price points are with the newiPad Mini. Consumersare willing to trade up tothe best model. Themore engaged employeesbegin to generate aneven better brandexperience. For instanceat Starbucks, employeesknow the names of theirmost loyal of customers. Blind taste tests showconsumers prefer thecheaper McDonald’scoffee but still pay 4x asmuch for a Starbucks. Sois it still coffee you’rebuying?A well-run Beloved Brandcan use their efficiency tolower their coststructure. Not only canthey use their growth todrive economies of scale, but also suppliers will cut their cost just to be on the roster of a Beloved Brand. They willbenefit from the free media through earned, social and search media. They may even find government offer subsidiesto be in the community or partners willing to lower their costs to be part of the brand. For instance, a real estate ownerwould likely give lower costs and better locations to McDonald’s than an indifferent brand.
Beloved Brands have momentum they can turn into share gains. Crowds draw crowds, which spreads the base of theloyal consumers. Putting name Disney on a movie generates a crowd at the door on day 1. Competitors can’t compete–lower margins means less investment back into the brand. It’s hard for them to fight the Beloved Brand on theemotional basis leaving them to a niche that’s currently unfulfilled.Beloved Brands can enter into new categories knowing their loyal consumers will follow because they buy into the Ideaof the Brand. The idea is no longer tied to the product or service but rather how it makes you feel about yourself. Nikeis all about winning, whether that’s in running shoes, athletic gear or even golf equipment.The formula for a Beloved Brand is simple: Beloved = Power = Growth = ProfitApple has been able to take all the love they generate with consumers and transform it into a power that they’ve beenable to drive into their P&L, with 25-fold gains in revenue, increases in gross margins and can move all their ratios intothe right space. As a result, Apple is now the most valuable company in the world.
About Beloved Brands Inc. I started Beloved Brands Inc. to help your brand realize its full potential value by generating more love for your brand.The biggest difference that I offer is that I will challenge your team to come up with new ideasthat will drive real growth. I have walked a mile in your shoes. I am a former business leader witha reputation for finding growth where others could not, whether it’s a turnaround, re-positioning,new product launch or sustaining success. With my experience, I’ll be able to get you and yourteam to a strategic action plan that will set your brand up to win in the market. I bring a unique perspective: I believe the more loved the brand, the more valuable is the brand. Brands move along a Brand Love Curve, going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally to the Beloved Brand status. It is the tight bond created between a brand and its consumers that can be used as a source of power to drive further growth and profits. Brands can find themselves stuck at a point on the curve, uncertain how to get more from their brand. I will help unleash the power of your brand by finding aUnique Selling Proposition that best matches the needs of your consumers with your brand’s assets. Together, we’ll develop strategies that will make your brand become a more beloved brand and in turn a more powerful and more profitable brand.The areas where I can help you the most are: Strategic Planning: I will help your team to develop a Brand Plan with vision, mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. I will help you to discover a Unique Selling Proposition that matches up the needs of your consumers against your brand assets. The plan and new positioning will separate you from your competitors and set you up to win in the market. Marketing Training: I know I can make your team better, because I have done it my entire career. You can get a training program customized for your team, which will meet specific needs or adjusted to any level of your team. I also provide coaching at the brand team level or personalized one-on-ones for key individuals. The Marketing Training program includes: 1. Strategic Thinking 2. Brand Plans 3. Developing Creative Briefs 4. Driving Profits through your Brand 5. P&L and Forecasting Management 6. Judging Advertising Creative 7. Media Planning 8. Marketing Careers