|I definitely love Pukka Pies.|
|Hello, is it my brand you're looking for?|
But. If we are going to talk about brands in the same context as love we need to start treating it with an understanding of how people operate and what role brands actually play in their lives. Yes people are irrational, but that doesn't mean they will jump around the room with glee at your new type of toilet roll.
Perhaps this goes back to the argument around fame and experience as the outcome of advertising. If something is famous people are far more likely to feel positive towards it. I bet if I asked the average person to name their favourite brands they would ALL either have amazing products or amazing communications. The average stick thin fashion model is far less visually appealling than the average real woman, but their fame and notoriety for being 'beautiful' makes them wanted and desired, even if they aren't. (Sorry George - Kate just isn't that hot!)
The ad creates the experience and connection that the product itself cannot. Think back to all the shitty lagers of the 80's, people still have a huge connection to those brands, why? It certainly isn't the product. Hofmeister was a crappy weak beer, but some John Webster magic and it's a brand that gives you an experience that is infinitely more than the product could ever deliver. Can Lynx or Old Spice ever truly give you an incredible product experience? Probably not, but they can give you an ad experience that lives on through the product.
British Airways as the World's Favourite Airline - they weren't, and the service (supposedly at the time) could never ever match it. But without actually promising something they couldn't deliver, they absorbed you into a brand and product experience that enhanced the travel experience. The ad gave you a snapshot of the world and of being part of a favoured group, when you then tried the product you could take that feeling with you on the flight, in a way that even minor service issues wouldn't spoil.
So when a brand manager talks about people loving the brand, we should think about those two key things:
1. Is the product brilliant enough that people will take a hugely positive experience away from it?
2. Do the communications give you an experience worth remembering or being part of?
This post is a little 'stream of consciousness', I hope it makes sense. I will probably edit it later!