My LG phone alarm wakes me with 94.7 FM at 5am. I get my social media fix on Facebook and perhaps have a quick read of Business Day before a brisk shower. In the shower I’m joined by Nivea body wash and Head & Shoulders shampoo and that’s all before a breakfast involving Nescafe and Marmite. Each one of these brands is my BFF. I need them in my life and they’re always there for me.
In our product-saturated world, how does a brand become your best friend forever? Yes, it’s about the name, logo and payoff line, but it is also so much more. Here are six other ways a product nudges its way into your heart and becomes a BFF; until the next best thing comes along.
“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Customers will be loyal to brands that go beyond just being a product. According to a report by from Havas Media Group, Meaningful Brands, 75% of global consumers expected brands to noticeably improve their lives and the “role they play” in society. Brands telling their story and tapping into our emotions as a consumer, is also important, but the stories need to be meaningful to resonate.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” ~William Shakespeare
Honesty and transparency are likely to propel brands onto the BFF list. According to a 2016 Food Revolution Study, 94% of consumers say food product transparency from brands and manufacturers affects their buying decision.
“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson
Dan Ratner’s article, “Maintaining Trust in a Sceptical World” says brands need to become key sources of information. He writes “brands have evolved from product sellers to advice and information providers.” A huge responsibility for a brand, but it could be a groundbreaking way of building deep friendships with new target markets.
“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends.” ~Charles Kinsley
A study by Unilever reports (from a questionnaire of 20,000 adults from five countries) that 33% of consumers are now “choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good”. Not having a sustainable brand offering will be a friendship deal breaker in the near future.
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” ~Henry Ford
5. Solutions Driven
We expect our products to find the answers for us. A good example of this was the Knorr What’s for Dinner Campaign, which came about when research showed that at 4pm every day, 75% of people surveyed didn’t know what they were having for dinner. Through the all important omni-channel experience Knorr was able to find a way into our homes and onto our tables. A brand BFF who helps with the cooking is a winning recipe.
“Never let your best friends get lonely… keep disturbing them.” ~Anonymous
6. Fun and disruptive
We all have those friends – fun and disruptive and we (usually) love them for it. There are our feel-good BFFs: Coca Cola brings happiness; Nandos is clever and saucy, KFC is fresh and innovative, but we’re going to see much more on the disruptive side 2018.
Jainita Khatri is managing director of Prana Business Consulting.
She says what will be useful when strategising for next year is Prana Business Consulting’s Brand Toolkit. And for making the most important brand shine (yourself),read Hubspot’s The Ultimate A to Z Guide of Personal Branding.