Emotional connection with consumers key to irresistible brand
The path to be a winning brand that is irresistible to the consumers is to get connected to them emotionally. This was the position of the Managing Director, Needscope International, Maria Tyrrell, in Lagos last week at a roundtable on market research.
Emotional connection with the consumers is really at the heart of making a brand irresistible. So a brand may have some good functional features. For instance, Coca-cola and Pepsi, they are both cola, efficient, and with the same colour.
Most people when label is not on a bottle and they taste it cannot actually say the difference; same for the beer market, but when you put the brand on, people have a much more deep connection with it and some special feelings it gives them.
So it is the brand that gives that emotional connection and it is what differentiates brands. She noted that many brands in Nigeria are just after getting a share of the 170 million Nigerians rather than go through a more systematic approach to know what the consumers need and then target it, making them an irresistible brand.
This, to her, is why a lot of brands will come and go until they understand what the people want. She said that an irresistible brand is one that magnets the consumers.
When you get to a store and you are faced with variety of products in the same category, you will chose the irresistible brand without being really able to explain why. “It is loyalty but more than that because loyalty, you can switch when a cheaper brand comes on board, but if it is irresistible, you get that emotional connection you cannot explain.”
Tyrrell stated that to continue to be an irresistible brand would require a good blend of quality, innovative products and consistent marketing communication efforts. “If you have great marketing but bad quality, then people are going to leave you.
You have to start with the product, make sure the quality, taste and service are there, and then rap it up with that emotional meaning.
There are times a product dominates the market and become a generic name in its category. Could that be an irresistible brand? She said, “Yes and no.
The problem would come if it becomes so generic that there is no emotional connection. “It is a risk because if someone comes and does it better, then you lose the market share.”
She also said that when a brand attains an irresistible status; it needs to continually come up with new products, doing things differently about their brand. “Another is re-launching; doing something different to get the consumers outside the thinking box because being a category norm could become boring.”
Tyrrell said that it is not about niche but meeting consumer needs because sometimes people buy big brands by default. “It is all about making sure you understand what the consumer wants and addressing that so that people do not buy through default but through choice.”
She said it is understanding what the consumers want. “If it is an FMCG, what taste do they want, pack size, type, which kind of colour for the logo that is going to resonate with the consumers.
The strategy has to be about consumers, if not, you are not going to satisfy them. She noted that a lot of companies are branding driven but forget about consumers. “It should be consumer driven not brand driven,” she maintained. “Irresistible brands are able to align with consumers’ deeper priorities and motivations whilst generating an immediate, often automatic response whenever a choice is made.
They are chosen using very little conscious thought, but the choice is still a deeply satisfying one, aligning with deeper motivations and easily rationalized.
How could the consumer have chosen any other brand? Why would they want to? The brand has become synonymous with the need itself. “Irresistible brands’ strength comes from their perfect fit with needs that are specific to particular consumers and particular circumstances.
They require marketers to fully understand the nature of the need-states they are targeting and single-mindedly work to satisfy these with great discipline across time and touchpoints, despite the many temptations to compromise. When TNS set out to quantify the level of irresistibility that different brands have achieved, it quickly became clear that truly irresistible brands are rare creatures indeed.
This requirement for a deep and systematic understanding of needs and a disciplined approach to aligning the brand with them helps to explain why.
Like a powerful magnet, irresistible brands pull large numbers of consumers towards them, but there will be some for whom they do not exert the same level of attraction.
For irresistible brands this is an active choice; they have identified the needs that they appeal to and they have built their brand propositions and business models single-mindedly around them.
These brands differentiate like they mean it- and they know that the benefits of irresistibility far outweigh the risk of turning some consumers away.”