When it comes to running a business, one of the most important things you can do is create a strong brand attachment for your company.
Whilst you’ve probably heard of the terms brand engagement, brand development and brand loyalty – brand attachment is different – it goes much deeper.
This means that potential and current customers will have an emotional connection to your brand, and they will be more likely to stick with you over time.
In this blog post, we will discuss what brand attachment is and how advertising and marketing plays a role in creating it to improve a company’s bottom line and better financial performance.
What Is Brand Attachment?
Brand attachment can be defined as the emotional connection between humans and brands.
In other words, in the same way that people can be attached to a person – for a number of different reasons – they can become attached to a brand too.
This is different to brand loyalty which can be somewhat superficial – brand attachment forms a deeper connection with consumers.
According to the McKinsey Group, there are 3 components to creating brand attachment:
The opportunity for brands to create emotional connections is more than ever before, since now they have access to a wealth of information about their customers that no one else has.
As a business, you’re looking for consumer loyalty in order to achieve brand advocacy.
Brand attachment is achieved through an experience (or experiences) that consumers had with your company’s brands and their shared beliefs or value exchange.
It is your job to discover it, nurture it, and grow the connection, resulting in brand attachment.
You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!
If you like ice cream, there’s a strong chance you have a certain brand that you buy all the time.
Whether it’s Haagen-Daz, Carte D’or, or Ben & Jerry’s, there’s usually a reason for your purchase (it may be because of the unique tastes or clever product names).
For people attached to Ben & Jerry’s, the 3 components mentioned above could come into play like:
- Affection: they got you with their product names
- Connection: you relate to their values and sustainable practices
- Passion: they provide you with your favourite flavours
And when these emotions are in play, it’s very likely an attachment to the brand is formed. Brand attachment is deeper than brand loyalty; it basically becomes a part of you.
Marketing to Brand Attachment
It doesn’t matter what attracts someone to a brand initially, it’s likely to do with the way PR and advertising have presented the content about that brand.
Within this exposure, you are brought into the “virtuous circle of brand attachment”, according to Sciarrino.
To follow this path, there are 3 particular phases that lead to one another:
Advertising and Marketing > Brand Attachment > Financial Performance
Let’s stick with Ben & Jerry’s for a moment.
If you’re heavily attached to their brand, it most likely means you’re buying their ice cream over and over, improving their financial performance – even if it’s only a small amount of personal attachment.
But times that by millions of customers, and their bottom line is positively filled with engaged, repeat customers.
Why Brand Attachment is Better Than Brand Loyalty
The advantages for brands and businesses are that individuals with strong brand attachments also influence other people around them.
Essentially, they become brand advocates; people who have developed a strong affinity for a brand after seeing it in action.
And these fans or followers of the company aren’t simply there to stay; they’re also bringing their friends along, expanding the business’s customer base.
Whether they are doing it on purpose or not, the foundation of many company strategies is gaining prospects, maintaining current clients, and trying to form a degree of brand loyalty.
When these attachments result in immediate brand exposure, such as through retweeting a message on Twitter, the reach of the original impression produced by the brand is extended.
As a result, when a brand attachment has been obtained, it makes advertising and public relations considerably simpler.
And that’s because the genuine customer voice resonates more effectively with the end user.
Ultimately, to create a strong brand attachment, you must find out what your customers’ passions, connections and affections are.
With those in mind, you’ll be able to target your marketing efforts towards them, and see how customers become attached to your brand, not just show loyalty.
The goal is to not only keep customers coming back for me, but transform them into true, lifetime brand ambassadors.