The role of Brand Love.

Effective marketing is all about relationships – the relationships that last are always rooted in love.

Disconnection is
the biggest crisis
of our time.

All human beings need to feel like they belong. When that’s taken away, loneliness and despair aren’t far behind. Brand Love is about bridging those lost connections and helping people find their way back to each other. But to get there, brands need to find a new way forward.

Brand Love 2.0. A revolution
in how stories get told.

People are hard wired for connection.

We seek patterns that help us recognize where we belong. We respond to stories that reflect our own values. It’s in our DNA. We don’t care about the brand story we care about our story. The old ways make the story all about “the brand” –  what it is, represents, and wants us to buy into.

In Brand Love 2.0, the story is about what communities represent to themselves, not to the brand. When the patterns match the brand is “one of us.” To win brand love, the story of us is the only one that matters.

What’s the difference between Brand Loyalty and Brand Love?

Loyalty to a brand means you’re likely to buy from it again. But Brand Love is about more than sales and conversions. It’s about ongoing relationships. It’s where brands become part of the cultural conversation, with where people engage with a brand on a more intimate level, and even make it part of their personal identity.

The motivations between loyalty and love are fundamentally different, and yet the sales funnel model treats them as if they’re identical approaches. Brand loyalty creates moments to grow transactions. Brand Love is about anticipation, the increasing desire for something to come next.

The goal of the sales funnel is like a series of “hookups” – satisfying in the moment – but you don’t necessarily expect more. Anticipation is the expectation for future and deeper interactions that you have when you go out with someone you want to date and possibly marry. There can be no love without anticipation.

Here are five stages of connection that lead people towards Brand Love. 

We call these stages the Anticipation Funnel TM.

Resonance
“Feels like us.”
The Motivational Gain when a brand’s values, expressed through their identity narrative, are perceived by an audience to be authentic and true.
Belonging
“They’re like us.”
The State-of-Mind Gain, when the audience recognizes commonality in how the brand chooses to express its shared values through the audience’s norms and experiences.
Commitment
“They get us.”
The Relationship Gain, when the ongoing engagement between a brand and audience evolve into a deeply personal narrative that progresses across all customer touchpoints.
Devotion
“They’re with us.”
The Attachment Gain, when the shared narrative and mutual support between brand and audience are increasingly interwoven, so an audience begins to feel that their own personality is tied to the brand’s messaging.
Love
“The story of us.”
The Social Good Gain, when the personal association with a brand positively influences the public identity of an audience who otherwise feels invisible, misunderstood, undervalued, or alone.