There are six key drivers of brand love, and a brand can be measured by how well it exceeds needs, sets trends, shares values, builds trust, elevates experiences, and respects consumers. By analyzing these drivers, the Brand Love Index revealed the following insights to help marketers build brand love:
1. Outperform and overdeliver.
Consumers follow their hearts, but only to a point. How a product works and what it does is more important than feelings alone, in every industry. A brand's ability to exceed needs by doing something no other brand does, or doing it better, is the strongest driver (30%) of brand love globally.
Mobile brands win: the majority of U.S. consumers (60%) had at least one mobile touchpoint with their favorite brand in the last year, creating higher brand affinity and better response to ads.
What brands can do: Go beyond standard mobile ad units and create immersive AR ads that let consumers try out their products.
2. Take a stand.
People want to be seen using brands that share their values (representing 12% of brand love globally). In the U.S. however, this drives 14% of brand love, more than almost anywhere in the world.
62% of U.S. consumers expect brands they love to publicly support equality and diversity, but only 25% want them to publicly support a political party.
59% of U.S. Millennials think it's important that a brand supports women in leadership and closing the gender pay gap, compared to less than half of Baby Boomers (49%).
What brands can do: Speak out and use the power of storytelling through high quality branded content to make it clear what your brand stands for and connect with consumers that share your values.
3. Rethink, reinvent, repeat.
Brands don't have to be in an innovation-obsessed industry for consumers to expect them to set trends -- this drives 18% of brand love globally.
Setting trends is more important for entertainment and news and media brands (19% and 18% of their brand love scores respectively in the U.S.) than for any other industry, including tech and retail.
Plus, consumers are willing to go out of their way for--and even forgive--brands that innovate in order to elevate experiences. This drives 9% of brand love globally and is key to brand loyalty.
What brands can do: Create new experiences including VR, 360 video, and live content to bring their products to life in ways that consumers haven't seen before.
4. Make it personal.
There's no love without trust. Trust represents 20% of brand love around the world and is the highest indicator of brand loyalty and admiration.
U.S. consumers who have at least one mobile touchpoint with a brand are 67% more likely to trust that brand to use their personal data.
GenXers and Boomers place a higher priority on trust (23% of the total contribution to brand love) -- that's 31% higher than Millennials in the U.S.
What brands can do: Ensure ads appear next to content that matches brand and consumer values, and lean on data to get a complete picture of how their consumer acts across devices in order to build trust.
5. Act their age.
Millennials worship innovation, and it's no surprise their love is most influenced by setting trends (20% of their love score globally). U.S. Millennials are twice as likely to expect brands to take a stand on social issues, compared to Baby Boomers.
Don't forget Boomers on mobile. 40% of Boomers in the U.S. report at least one mobile touchpoint with their favorite brands. What brands can do: Use native ads for advanced targeting, including cross-device, to tailor their message based on who is seeing the ad and where.
Brands Building Love
Based on the Brand Love Index, these are a few examples of brands successfully building brand love among US consumers. FedEx delivers when it comes to exceeding needs, beating the next brand by almost 10 points. Apple is the poster child for trendsetting in the tech category, and Disney Resorts scores highly for the travel vertical. Nike is loved for sharing values, one of the top five brands overall. Visa knows that the way to build love is to build trust, and they score more than 15 points higher than the next brand and 30 points higher than the category average. And Dove is among the most loved health and beauty brands, with the strongest score in respecting consumers, 59% higher than the category average.
Oath's Brand Love Index brings a new perspective by unpacking the drivers of brand love, relevant in today's landscape, universal (across age, gender, race and nationalities) and actionable. Quantitative and qualitative consumer research and analysis was completed in Q4 2017 to create Oath's proprietary brand love score, which was applied to the BrandZ Database from WPP and Kantar Millward Brown, with a sample size of 159,600 across the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and the UK.