Brands are symbols around which companies, suppliers, organisations, the public and customers construct identities.Strong brands facilitate repeat purchases to enhance financial performanceBrand that we can relate to can build brand loyalty with their consumers this facilitates.....watching out for the bottom lineNeed more than customer retention, need to GET KEEP and GROW their customers. In a saturated market of consumer goods, customers have lower switching costs making it easy for them to be passive loyalists to a brand, by this I mean no being brand loyal to one specific product. what can brands to do?? Invest in consumer-brand relationships. The Internet allows for increased interaction and allows the company to invest more time into the consumer-brand relationship via on-line channels.
As little as three years ago to most of us would have meant different things to each of us. Twitter was a bird songTo get into MySpace you’d need a bulldozer!!!! Now these brands form part of our individual identities. They are our other halves, our relationships with them is one of dependence, need and necessity.
Evolution - Essentially, Fournier has provided a framework for better understanding the relationships consumers form with the brands they know and use. Firstly she defines the 4 core conditions that qualify relationships with people. 2) They involve reciprocal exchange between partners. 3) They provide people with meanings and values. 4) relationships have many dimensions and take many forms and finally they evolve and change depending on contextual environment. Brand as relationship partner-They help resolve concerns or tensionsConcern important life tasksTasks become daily activities Considers how a brand can actually act as a partner in a relationship . She uses Behavioural and Psychoanalytical perspectives to support her view on the legitimacy of consumer-brand bonds. Brand as a humanised object – easy to see the consumer as a participant in the relationship, more difficult to imagine an inanimate object as partaking in it. Smart marketers have humanised brands by creating icons that represent the brand personality. For example Ronald McDonald as fun and energetic, Michelin man as strong, reliable, dependable and robust. A willingness to accept these and see them as life-like characters qualifies them as vital members of the relationship dyad. They are anthromorphised, they have the ability to laugh, joke scheme and conspire. Brand-person association can also be more personable – that particular brand of perfume evokes the spirit of a friend or a mother. Chanel reminds you of an ex-girlfriend, IssyMayake reminds Ross O’Carroll Kelly of his etcQualitative research methods – Give in-depth insight into what their chosen brands mean to the, the value they attach to these brands and their daily usage and touch points with the brand. BRQ Conceptualizing C-B Relationship Strength – determinant of overall relationship quality, depth and strength.Research methodologies which determine :what a particular brand means to customers, how valuable it is to them and how the use of brands in every day life creates a dynamic relationship Framework to understand the types of relationships consumers form with bondsConceptualises and evaluates the strength of relationships based on a Brand Relationship Quality Framework Concepts of brand loyalty are denoted from the study of 3 individuals and their relationships with brandsBrand loyalty and Brand Personality in categories such as food and cleaning productsUtilitarian view of brands critical role as a means to an end (use them to achieve something else e.g. Recognition, evidence of success)“Consumers don’t chose brands they chose lives”
The Narrator’s catalogued life is an example of using material things as a means to an end. Creating the appearance of a well balanced life. The director David??? Is jesting at the involvement of consumers in creating the ideal nest by building an Ikeabrandscape. He doesn’t see himself as buying a brand he is choosing a life.
Strong committed partnerships – Jean’s brand rship portfolio is composed of strong, committed partnerships that deliver meanings that relate to her identity and her life as a 59y.o middle class wife who has grown up and lived in the same place all her life. She has been married for 40 years and works as a bar woman in the towns local pub. She is a second generation Italian and has a tendency to feel marginalised from her community as a result, she feels she needs to prove her self-worth in her community so she works very hard to earn what she has and is very proud of this. Her strongest relationships are with food and cleaning products, experience has thought her that buying the best brands guarantees favourable performance in highly valued traditional roles as home-maker, mother and wife.Her need for belonging and stability has led Jean to value heritage and tradition and to seek and maintain relationships with classic and often ethnic brands. Jean rewards her brand relationships with deep feelings of commitment and long-term loyalty to these brands.
Karen reject brands that she associates with her mother or her ex-husband. These moves are strategic for asserting a new sense of identity and independence. She define who she is, by defining who she is not. The carefully selected brands in Karen’s inner sanctum share an ability to make her feel good about herself, both by keeping a feared and undesired aging self successfully at bay Low levels of emotional attachment can be liked to her age and lifecycle, she is a modern woman who has distanced herself from the traditionalist role of housewife, yet she has not fully embraced the possibilities available to modern women, as Vicki has.
Vicki is 23y.o student who us in the process of making the transition from childhood to adulthood. She relies on her parents for making important life decisions. Like the narrator in Fight club, she has a brand supported identity which may never be complete. There’s always something out of reach, another piece of furniture that will add to the nest another brand which will help to shape what defines her as a person. Generation X is a product of post-modern society that encourages the construction of highly individualised identites by borrowing fragments from consumer culture. Relies on peer evaluation - People always said she looked like an Ivory soap girl, wholesome and pure. Vicki liked that. She has different rships with the different perfumes she wears, she has a flirtatious rship with Giorgio perfume, its her “get noticed” perfume this reoccuring theme of a brand giving her confidence links to the functionality of her relationships. Relies on marketing cues – to Vicki products and brands compose and efficient meaning-based communication system, she confesses to being every marketers dream.
Exploratory – interesting as she describes this project as having discovery-orientated goals Gender specific – previous research suggests that women exhibit more and stronger interpersonal relationships and brand involvements The different Age and Life-cycles of these women helped to identify socio-cultural drivers of relationships and allowed for the analysis of brand behaviours in periods of heightened identity negotiation. Qualitative – Interviews and home visits used to get an in-depth holistic perspective. Fournier wanted to get a first person description of the participants brand usage history and get rich stories surrounding their usage. Cross-case analysis – Involved reading the transcripts to identify recurrent behavioural and psychological tendencies. The goal of the cross-case analysis wass to discover patterns across brand episodes and individuals that could help structure and understanding of Consumer-Brand relationship phenomena. Inter-connected web of brands – Fouriner identified a web of brands that contributed to the enactment, exploration or resolution of centrally held identity issues. As readers, this helps up imagine the consumer portfolio and envision the respondents in their homes amongst their brands. Compare and Contrast – Like this style of case, 1,2,3, then in this case for relationships, she lists the definitions and gives case examplesBRQ – All this brought Fournier to the conclusion that brand relationships are valid at the level of consumers’ lived experiances.
Love/passion – How involved the brand is in the consumer’s daily life Self-connection- this is part of the fit between the brand image and the consumers image. Vicki feels a strong self connection to the brands she uses as they form part of her evolving identity and personal independence. Commitment- Loyalty to the brand in terms of faithfulness and the willingness to make sacrifices Interdependence- Intimacy- Psychological distance between consumer and the brand is closeBrand Partner Quality- refers to how well the brand takes care of the customer. The reliability and dependability of the brand. Jean feels a strong connection.
Applicability- Fournier’s findings highlights the changing meaning of brand equity to include both the tangible and intangible assets of the brand. Fournier’s behavioural view as she has used research methodologies which determine what a particular brand means to customers, how valuable it is to them and how the use of it them builds their identity. How is this knowledge of value to execs and how can they use this info?The strength of brand equity and in particular, intangible assets, is realized in the fact that the acquisitions of strong brands is more profitable than spending the time trying to build and nurture a successful brand. Understated – we feel that the quality of Fournier’s case study is worthy of further research. Important to consider life value of customers, especially with saturated product marketsFurther research - Descriptive not Prescriptive – Doesn’t prescribe action for marketing execs. This research is of value to marketers but further exploratory research would be needed to look into questions that marketers may have after reading this journal such as “How do we create these strong consumer-brand bonds”? As this journal was published in 1998 it is not surprising that the role of technology didn’t influence the lives of any of the three respondents. A study using the same methodologies as Fournier but considering the role of technologies in their day to day lives would be interesting, particularly with respondents of similar age and life-cycles to Jean, Karen and Vicki to see how much contact or touch points they would have with, say hand held devices such as i-phones etc for the purposes of marketers looking to advertise directly to consumers using brand in the hand marketing. Considerations for further research might also be questioning the importance of privacy to consumers in the relationships. Where do you draw the line?? Blue tooth getting messages, even Meteor after topping up you get 4 texts. Is this the kind of relationship you want to have with a brand?
People who focus on marketing strategy, various predictive techniques, and the customer's lifetime value can rise above myopia to a certain extent. This can entail the use of long-term profit objectives (sometimes at the risk of sacrificing short term objectives).Manifold- usage, value, lifestyle, touch-point.
We wanted something that had a direct link to Fournier's article....Brand relationship and interpersonal theory that Rosie talked aboutWe also thought it was appropriate as it takes the theory that Fournier produced and developed it furtherDemonstrates how companies can use brand-consumer relationship to build their brandAs Fournier's article was published back in 1998, and was one of the first articles in this area, we wanted an article that was relatively recent so as work since then would be considered.
As Rosie has mentioned in our justification for choosing this article, it’s getting harder and harder to not only get customers but to retain and grow them is proving quite difficult as well...due to saturation, and low switching costs and decreased loyalty.As its so hard to attract new customers, brands should concentrate their efforts on existing customers and how they can keep and grow their lifetime value.Smit et al suggest the best way to do this is through....
Main idea of this article is essentially the development of Fournier's work...in order to find practical uses for companies and their brands.They take the theory Fournier advanced and her BRQ model (with the 7 facets within it) and used it to help determine...Meanings it portrays etc....if a brand has the potential for a strong relationship with its consumers, what benefits this will have.Brands that have been around for a while (nostalgiac), brands that have high/low involvementDoes strong bc r/s increase the trust and therefore the interaction between them
Control...demographics and degree of brand use
Intention for further use and reluctance to brand switching important to retaining a customer. But probably the most important and practical of the outcomes of the article is brand contact. As will be shown in the analysis of our findings and recommendations, brand contact is becoming key for growing customers and is an important aspect of brand-consumer relationship. The level of interaction and 2-way communication a brand has with its consumer is key to how they lengthen the customer lifetime value.Brands they use in the study and the personalities that they haveThese brand personalities are strongly linked to the quality of a brand-consumer relationship. 2 viewpoints on BRQ...connection, and partner quality. the most suitable brands for brand relationships are emotional exciting and unique brands.
Applicability....Understated....from today's evidence the area of bc r/s’s and brand contact has become so importantFurther research...
Brand consumer relationships are increasingly being adopted by companies to grow and increase their consumers lifetime valueEmotional, exciting, and unique brands most suitable
Although they develop BRQ model for a practical use, they don’t actually give a practical example
Agenda1. Justification for studying this topic2. “Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research” Susan Fournier (1998)3. “Brand relationship quality and its value for personal contact” Edith Smit, Fred Bonner, and Marten Tolboom (2006)4. Contrasts and Similarities5. Summary
Why study brand-consumerrelationship theory? Difficulty in not onlyBrands are getting and retaining Development ofeverywhere customers but growing technology and the their lifetime value internet• Saturation of the market• Huge • Lower switching costs • Web 2.0 • Decreased loyalty
FournierEvolution of interpersonal relationships Brand as relationship partner Brand as humanised object Qualitative methodologies which determine : • what brand means • value • usage Conceptualising Consumer-Brand Relationship strength “Consumers don‟t chose brands they chose lives”
Fight Club “What kind of dining set defines me as a person? http://criticalcommons.org/Members/adiab/clip s/FF_FincherFightClub-possum.mp4/view
Socio-cultural shapers ofRelationships & Behaviours Age Strength of Type of Gender Relationship Relationship Life-cycle Family/Peers Nature of Style of Relationship Relationship Culture
Jean•Strong committedpartnerships•Need for belonging andstability•Buying the best removesuncertainty in the performanceof valued social roles•Commitment and loyalty•“Things made 20 years agoare better than the junk theysell you today”
Karen•Desire for change yet alonging for stability•New sense of identity andindependence•Low levels of emotionalattachment to brands andfewest brand commitments
Vicki•Generation X•Relies on peer evaluation•Conscious of brand image•Functional relationships•Relies on marketing cues
Methodology Cross-case analysis• Exploratory • Interconnected web• Gender specific • 12-15 hrs interview of brands per person. • Compare and • 4-5 home interviews contrast conducted over 3 month period Qualitative Brand Relationship Research Quality (BRQ) Methodologies Model
Analysis of findingsApplicability• Recognised value of intangible brand assets such as customer- brand relationships• Identified consumers subjective (personal/emotional) experiences involving their thoughts, emotions and perceptions.Over/understated• We believe the importance of consumer-brand relationships is understatedFurther research?• Needs further refinement or further focus on the use of emerging technologies and privacy
Critique Doesn‟t provide practical uses of BRQ Over-emphasis on minor detail for case examples Ritualistic and spiritualistic Exaggerating life-experience connection with their consumer behaviour Focuson consumer-brand relationship in the past doesn‟t consider how this may evolve in each person or doesn‟t consider future possibilities.
Recommendation to MarketingExecutives Confront anti-brand movement and the marketing myopia by considering the “brand manifold”. Understand the multi-faceted brand dimensions Consider customers lifetime value Respect consumers privacy and provide “opt-in” services that provide real benefits and value to the consumer Effective management of relationships for brand evolution. Draw on brands roots for future development. “Everything that‟s old is new again” Consumers acting as co-owners of brand must be given due recognition of this achievement
“BRAND RELATIONSHIPQUALITY AND ITS VALUEFOR PERSONALCONTACT”Smit et al
Why we chose this article?Direct link to Fournier‟s work andstems from other similar theory Uses BRQ model to develop consumer-brand theory further Develop BRQ model for practical use Relatively recent theory
Conceptual FoundationsBrands succeed by... Growing Keeping Getting ...their customers!Organisations must invest in developing the lifetime value of existing customers
Main Idea: Consumer-Brand Relationships Employ Fourniers BRQ model for functional application and to find...1) The importance of a brands personality and strong brand relationship quality?2) Which brands are more suitable for consumer-brand relationships?3) Does this increase brand contact?
Methodology 8 Samples from users of specific• Computer products • Independent assisted interviews • Cars (Ford & Volvo) • Computers (Compaq & • Dependent• 7 facets of BRQ IBM) • Control model • Beer (Grolsch & Heineken)• Users selected • Shampoos (Andrélon & from access panel Dove) Variables Qualitative research
Findings Presented through 3 aspects; • Intention for further use 1. BRQ positively • Reluctance to brand switching related to • Favourable attitude towards „brand contact‟ • Cars – competent 2. Brand • Beer – rugged and unique personalities • Shampoo – gentle 3. Brand • Connection – unique, rugged, and exciting brands • Partner quality – competent brandspersonality strongly • Emotional, exciting, and unique products score linked to BRQ higher
Analysis of findingsApplicability?• BRQ can be used to increase brand contact.• This can help increase trust between a brand and its customer• Increase a companies knowledge of it‟s customerOver/understated?• We believe the area of consumer-brand relationships and sub sequential brand contact is understated.Further research?• How can consumer-brand relationships lead to better knowledge and increased lifetime value of consumers?• How the internet and digital marketing is leading the way in developing modern day consumer-brand relationships.
Recommendations to marketing execsA strong consumer-brand relationship can result in active consumers whoare in contact with their brands and who are willing to invest and interact.(1) Internet is fastest growing and mostsuitable platform to develop modern dayconsumer-brand relationships (2) All companies whose target market falls within 13-35 should be incorporating the use of the internet • Especially if their brand is exciting and unique (3) Provide forums and platforms for online activities and interaction • Interactive media and software, blogging, online customisation, viral campaigns, competitions, promotions • Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, company‟s website, MySpace, Bebo, boards.ie, etc
Critique Methodology Questionable quality of sample and hence results Few product categories or product types Didn‟t elaborate on brand personalities or reasons for choosing brands Use outsourced researchers Offered remuneration for participation and flexible time-line for respondents allowed for 80-90% response rate Some results not really groundbreaking No examples Lack of detail in both the study and its results More research has to be done on this area before it can be applied correctly
ContrastsFournier Smit et al Consumer focused Brand focused Interpersonal Interpersonal relations – deep relations – weaker psychological psychological perspective perspective No detail on Detail on participants participants
Similarities Fournier & Smit et al Both stem from interpersonal theory Brand as humanised object Qualitative research methodologies Interview methodology Involvement in purchase decisions doesn‟t influence strength of relationship Loyalty to both high and low involvement products Small reference pool
Summary Interpersonal relationship characteristics can be applied to consumer-brand Brands have personalities BRQ model Relationship can defined from both the persons and the brands perspectives No longer just one way relationship 2-way interaction Increased brand contact Internet is leading the way in modern-day consumer- brand relationship
One final quote! “As with people, some brands possess certain traits that make relationships with them easier... as friends or as lovers”