A recent study by Havas Media shows only 20% of brands have the potential to influence our life and wellbeing. In the UK 95% of consumers don’t care if a brand stops existing; we want brands to connect to us at a personal level rather than stand for products alone. So what do we expect from them today?
When brands have better products to offer
When Google was created back in 1998, the international online community was already familiar with Yahoo and Alta Vista as search engines, and the introduction of yet another oddly-named search engine wasn’t met with any great celebration – the same with the then MSN search engine. However, as Google progressed, it soon became apparent that the technology being used and developed was able to deliver more accurate search results than its rivals, and the market shares of the 3 main engines started to change, with Google soon becoming more in favour than the others.
Fairly soon after Google’s rise to popularity, people started using the word “Google” to refer to an Internet search in general, and now you’ll hear “I’ll Google it” as the common phrase for a search online, as opposed to “I’ll search for it”, or even “ I’ll Bing it”/”I’ll Yahoo it”.
Other vivid examples of brands that became common nouns because of their standing within the communities they cater to are “Hoover” as opposed to the term ‘vaccuum’ and “Xerox” used to name any automated copying machine. Rarely do you hear of people “vacuuming” their lounge, and “copying” their documents.
When brands build an emotional connection
More than ever we want brands to focus on real things rather than plunge us into imaginary worlds. Dove’s Real Women campaign by Unilever, which highlights different body shapes and sizes rather than models, has the potential to encourage women to buy because it let them co-create the brand and be part of it. At Unilever, changing the perception of marketing also meant changing how employees talk about customers. For many brands, customers are simply targets but talking this way can build no emotional connection. We have a stronger emotional attachment to products if the company treats us with respect and has a human idea behind its brand.
While some brands use corporate promotional gifts to pull in more business, others are changing the message they send and the way they treat their clients. Time and statistics show we only care about brands that we feel are created to make our life easier and happier.
Havas Media study: http://www.havasmedia.com/2011/11/meaningful-brands-havas-media-launches-global-results/