Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Does this brand resonate? Part 1

Brands are beyond products that are picked off the shelf. They have got soul, an attractive attitude and more importantly an irresistible magnetic pull that make us “slaves” to their influence on our life.

A great brand is beyond a product that delivers a definite functional requirement. A Mac is not just a computer. It has evolved into a deep-seated meaning that consumers fantasize and use to reinforce self identity.

A great brand establishes relevance by becoming a powerful supplement to consumers’ desired identity. A brand like Ralph Lauren has created a lifestyle based on an upper class lifestyle and has created an implicit brand promise: if you buy our products, you too can aspire to this lifestyle.

Brands have become an inseparable part of our lives. Strong ones wield such power in our subconscious that they are becoming the lighthouse through which consumers navigate through life.

It’s therefore instructive as brand followers to contextualise the magnetic pull that takes place between consumers and the omnipotent brand.

It often strange that many have genuinely become slaves to the brands they admire. A Harley-Davidson Biker would ever wish to be buried with his bike!

These everyday realities are not deniable as we see brands shift our gravitation and influence our preference

These realities are summed in the principle of brand resonance.

Brand Resonance refers to the extent to which customers feel “in sync” with the brand. Just as we feel the vibe between ourselves and others, we also experience a vibe that resonates between ourselves and brands. These resonance effects are reflective of the intensity or depth of the psychological bond that customers have with the brand.

Brand resonance is measured on a foursome framework viz:

Behavioral loyalty--How often do customers purchase a brand and how much do they purchase?
Attitudinal attachment--How "special"-in a broader context-is a brand to customers?
Sense of community--Do customers feel a kinship with other people associated with the brand?
Active engagement--Do customers invest time, energy, money, or other resources into the brand beyond those expended during purchase or consumption? Are they brand evangelists?
Brand resonance is a precursor to brand-consumer relationship. It solidifies the two dimensional effects of intensity and activity. Intensity is the strength of the attitudinal attachment and sense of community. Activity refers to how frequently the consumer buys and uses the brand, as well as engages in other activities not related to purchase and consumption on a day-to-day basis.