Jossey-Bass Releases Romancing the Brand

Jossey-Bass Releases Romancing the Brand

A couple camps overnight outside an Apple store to be first to buy the new iPad. A fan tattoos a Harley Davidson logo on his ankle. A young woman claims her Diet Coke is like her boyfriend. Are they crazy?

No. Research reveals that the connections people make with brands can be as deep and emotional as the relationships they have with other people. With some brands, one has wild, short-term flings. With others, one "falls in love" and enter a mutually beneficial relationship.

In Romancing the Brand: How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers (Feb. 3; Jossey-Bass), brand expert Tim Halloran argues that today's effective marketer must foster a deep, committed, and emotionally-connected relationship with their consumer base.

While marketers generally excel at wooing customers to try their products in the short term, they often stumble when it comes to keeping the sparks alive in a long-term relationship. To reap the benefits of a romance, Halloran shows the secrets to identifying the right consumer, "meeting" that consumer in the right context, evolving and strengthening the relationship, and, on occasion, deciding when to start over or move on.

Research has proven the importance of meaningful brand-consumer engagement and interaction. People don't just consume or interact with brands, Halloran notes; they actually engage in relationships with them. With some brands, there are wild, short-term flings, while others stay last a lifetime - like family. Some brands offer strictly utilitarian relationships; they are in one's daily life, yet there is no emotional connection to them.

To win and keep customers in today's brand environment, marketers must go beyond thinking about consumers as "target markets" simply to achieve awareness, trial and repeated purchases. They need to think about engaging consumers in a long-term relationship.

Halloran shares practical tips for creating and nurturing a genuine brand-consumer relationship with numerous entertaining stories based on firsthand interviews with the marketers of some of the world's most iconic brands. These lessons include:

-Make Them Feel Special: Instead of a "cattle-call" approach, Chick-fil-A introduced its spicy chicken sandwich with reservation based sampling to their most loyal consumers.

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