Chief Marketing Officer

Emory University Professor Explores ‘Brand Love’ and What It Means for Today’s Marketers

Emory University Professor Brad Taylor shared his thoughts on brand engagement and management during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2018 Marketing Leadership Forum in Atlanta on June 21. In his presentation, “What’s Brand Love Got to Do with It … Everything!”, Taylor described “brand love” and its impact on today’s marketers.

A company may define a brand in many different ways. In some instances, businesses use their brands to illustrate their partnerships with customers. Meanwhile, other companies may look at their brands as opportunities to highlight their products and services to global consumers.

Ultimately, how a company develops its brand and promotes it to consumers plays a key role in the business’ short- and long-term success. If a company allocates time and resources to understand brand engagement and management, it may be better equipped than other businesses to connect with its target audience at all times.

Today’s marketers are responsible for helping their companies build brands from the ground-up. If marketers develop a clear definition of what they want a brand to illustrate, they can help a business use its brand to foster long-lasting customer engagement.

“A brand is a promise, and a great brand is a promise kept, and it’s about consistency,” Taylor said.

Marketers also must understand the power of today’s consumers. Whereas marketers frequently used TV, radio and other traditional outlets to promote their brands in the past, consumers now can use social networks and other digital platforms to instantly share their brand experiences with millions of people around the world.

If marketers can deliver positive experiences to consumers across myriad platforms, they could differentiate their brands to customers. As a result, these marketers can help consumers connect with a brand and share their positive experiences – something that may enable a company to foster consumer trust and loyalty.

“Marketers aren’t in control of their brands anymore. Consumers are now in control of brands,” Taylor indicated. “The experience that consumers have with your brand dictate what your brand means to them.”

By prioritizing brand love, marketers can take a consumer-first approach to provide customers with positive experiences time and time again. Marketers can show their appreciation to consumers in a variety of ways, and by doing so, lead consumers to become brand advocates.

“When consumers are loyal to your product, service or brand beyond what would be considered reasonable for that category, then you know you have brand love,” Taylor pointed out.

If a company learns about its target audience, it can discover unique ways to connect with this audience. Then, this business can provide customers with the support they deserve and ensure consumers can enjoy positive experiences. And over time, these positive experiences may help a company boost its revenues as well.

“The best brands do a great job of taking care of their most precious consumers,” Taylor noted. “That attracts consumers to a brand and leads these consumers to buy more.”

With the ability to connect with consumers, a company can go above and beyond the call of duty to assist its customers. That way, consumers and companies can develop mutually beneficial partnerships.

Additionally, marketers must remain on the lookout for new ways to engage consumers. If marketers collect client feedback and learn about a company’s target audience, they can discover innovative ways to keep customers happy.

“The biggest source of your revenue is not the products you sell; it is the consumers who buy from you,” Taylor stated. “When you take care of your consumers, they love you, and they are going to spend more. And perhaps more importantly, your margins are going to be higher.”

Many globally recognized companies have displayed the value of brand love, including Starbucks. Recently, Starbucks closed all of its stores for half a day to train employees on empathy. This enabled all Starbucks employees to gain additional skills and training so they can provide outstanding customer experiences.

“Starbucks stands for empathy,” Taylor said. “The brand itself stands for something much more than just coffee. It stands for brand connection. It is about empathy, hiring the best employees and taking very good care of those employees.”

Companies of all sizes and across all industries can reap the benefits of brand love. If marketers understand what makes customers happy, they can work with clients to fulfill their requests. Next, marketers can maintain open communication with consumers and do whatever it takes to partner with customers.

If marketers prioritize brand love, the results can be significant and long-lasting. Brand love empowers marketers to engage with consumers on a personal level and provide them with amazing support. Best of all, brand love may help a company drive sales growth and differentiate itself from the competition.

“Brand love matters. It drives sales, and it drives results,” Taylor indicated.

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's CIO/CMO DINNER: Closing the Gap Between IT and Marketing to Get Superior Actionable Customer Insights- New York in New York, NY on Jan 29, 2020

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