Thu, 01 Aug 2019 09:49:49 GMT
With ITV's hit dating show Love Island airing its finale on Monday, RAPP UK's strategic insight director Jen Musgreave explores how to create a successful brand relationship - using some of the iconic references from the series.
Are you happily coupled up with your customers or are you inadvertently mugging them off?
In the giant Love Island of marketing, it’s hard to find brands that people genuinely care about: 57% of consumers wouldn’t care if all brands disappeared overnight. And yet we assume that laying it on factor 50 thick, in the hope of coupling up in a relationship with their customers is the right thing to do.
What brands want and what their customers expect don’t necessarily match up (surprise!). Brands want customers to spend more and stay longer. Customers want a product or service that meets or exceeds expectations, with minimum effort on their part.
So what are these expectations and how can brands meet them by providing that all-important connection, one that leads to love and a winning relationship?
In our survey of 2000 consumers’ brand relationship expectations, we found that the core relationship is functional i.e. it’s important that you deliver on your promises! The top three expectations of a functional relationship are: 'provide an efficient service,' 'provide value for money' and 'be honest with me.' These three qualities are prioritised differently depending on the brand’s category: for example, honesty is at the top of the list for banks and insurance, but for airlines, the top expectation is efficient service. For most other single purchase categories, value for money is top.
So, every brand-consumer relationship starts functional, but what about the emotional connection? We found that there are two other kinds of relationship that people can expect from the brands in their lives.
Succeed in the challenges with supportive relationships
Supportive relationships tend to be expected of subscription-based brands, or ones that hold customers’ payment details for frequent purchases e.g. mobile providers, gyms, utilities, banks, TV and broadband providers. Consumers expect brands like this to provide advice and guidance through the lifetime of their subscription - or even through their own life stages. Insurance and banking brands provide services and advice for different life stages, reflecting customers’ changing needs as they navigate the challenges of expanding their family, changing jobs and moving home.
Lloyds Bank is explicit in expressing its life-stage supportiveness through advertising, whilst other brands provide information and advice in the form of how to content. For example, O2 helps its customers navigate all the latest smart home tech via an “inspiration hub” online. The big question is whether this is enough to keep customers loyal in the face of head-turning competition.
Keep it fresh with creative relationships
Brands in a creative relationship inspire people to do something new and different – fashion, beauty and travel brands are expected to embark on creative relationships with consumers. For example, Airbnb’s Destination Guides help to fulfil its brand promise of “live like a local.” And ASOS sends its customers a stream of fashion inspiration via email, endlessly curating new looks for its twenty-something target market to experiment with. The stakes are high however, as the consequence of failing to inspire is getting dumped from the consumers’ inbox.
How well do you know each other? The Personal Relationship
In this highly competitive relationship space it’s so easy for consumers to have their heads turned by the next shiny new brand with sexy design and an alluring customer experience. Which brings us to the Mr & Mrs quiz of brand-consumer expectations: the personal relationship. Very few brands are expected by consumers to know everything about them and recommend products that are just right. This is where the fashion category stands out and performs best.
But there’s an opportunity here to be smart with data, adapting to the individual in the moment with the most relevant content for the here and now – and building on customer behaviour over time. Again, not every category is expected to do this but there is scope here for fashion and beauty.
What does all this mean for a marketer with a sales target?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do consumers expect from your category?
- How could you fulfil this expectation with interesting and timely content?
- How can you capitalise on the resulting engagement to drive loyalty and sales?
Ultimately, when looking for that all-important connection with customers, it pays to meet their expectations. If you put the graft in, your relationship will survive the challenges and bear the fruit of repeat engagements and sales. It may take time but after all, we’re all in here for the same thing: to find love - and results!view more - Trends and InsightRAPP, Thu, 01 Aug 2019 09:49:49 GMT