A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Brand Love. Brands winning customers' hearts to form a very close two-way connection. I’d experienced it first-hand with Alfa Romeo’s tribe days. A value exchange. Benefits to the customer & benefits to brands themselves.
Increased enjoyment & pleasure for customers with tailored experiences, products,& services. For brands, Forbes and KPMG Forrester say there’s 3x times more word-of-mouth coverage, & 3x faster growth.
But it’s not easy. Harvard Business Review says many firms aspire to the customer loyalty, marketing efficiency, & brand authenticity that strong communities deliver, few understand what it takes to achieve such benefits.
In their article ‘Getting Brand Communities Right’, HBR dispel 7 myths about maximising the value of community. The first is "a brand community is not a marketing strategy, it’s a high-level business strategy that supports business-wide goals".
Multi-location brands with physical real estate have a real advantage here. So who's smashing it?
Sportswear brands ASICS Corporation & Nike. Games Workshop Ltd have done this forever. the LEGO Group, Apple, Starbucks, Chewy’s, Patagonia. There are many more besides…
There’s also Harley-Davidson Motor Company. In 1983 they were really struggling. They turned the business around by building a community of passionate consumers centred around the brand's lifestyle, activities, & ethos. Harley's community serves its people well.
We visited our local Harley Davidson Dealership - LIND US LIMITED in Watford recently and immediately felt at home with the 'clubhouse' atmosphere. It was a very different brand DNA to Triumph Motorcycles Limited next door.
This is total brand immersion. Not a special one-off event but preserved within a local bricks & mortar environment. It doesn’t feel corporate. It doesn’t feel sales. It stands for something, something you want to buy in to. It’s authentic & true.
It’s a path more brands could follow. Instead of going corporate within a sales environment, savvy brands use their knowledge of local customers to engage them with their brand, putting them at the centre of a community by making the store immersive instead of transactional.
Last week I had the pleasure of time with Nigel Bromley unravelling exactly this.
The role of brand, corporate, sales & community within the customer journey. We brainstormed how each plays a part. Their strengths, and weaknesses & how they all influence customer love. Each has a distinct & integrated part to play & all should be enshrined in a brand's high-level business strategy.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable session! Thanks to Lotus & Caterham Silverstone for the loan of their office & the fantastic surroundings of a showroom full of amazing products including those from Group Lotus & Caterham.
Perfect examples of brands that provoke emotion but are there further untapped opportunities to develop true brand #love? Watch this space...
At We Are Acuity we’ve huge experience of helping global and national brands build local brand love. If you are an ambitious bricks & mortar brand looking at getting a competitive edge, and need some marketing support on how to maintain your brand, activate it at local level and engage your outlets in your campaigns, get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit by clicking HERE.
Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog