Wednesday, 23 July 2014

THE BRAND RELATIONSHIP MODEL



So many brands and companies want to do advertising like Coke, Red Bull or Oreo's but so many of them forget about considering who their customer is and what relationship they have with them. It is easy to implement innovative and "out there" campaigns like some of these brands but one must first consider if it is relevant to your target audience. Why does a customer have a relationship with you in the first place? How do you influence or play a role in their lives?

These are fundamental questions one must first ask otherwise your campaigns will never be a success. For example: If you were an ITC (Information Technology Communication) company and you offered converged product solutions to small businesses, if your ADSL line suddenly went down you would have a fundamental impact on your customers.

A small business owner would suddenly be left stranded without internet connectivity, this could effect their credit card machines, they wouldn't be able to send or receive emails and potentially lose business. Your relationship with the customer is very functional but also very emotional at the same time because you are suddenly effecting his business as well as his personal life.

If we take this same model and apply it to a brand like Coke, the relationship that a customer has with the brand is not very functional. Customers drink Coke because they enjoy the taste and it possibly quenches their thirst, if they go to a shop and find that they are out of Coke it is not going to result in the customer losing money or business. The brand connects with its customers on a more emotional level.

The problem comes in where brands want to do "funky" and "innovative" campaigns like Coke forgetting about why their customers have a relationship with them in the first place. At the end of the day, the business owner in the example above just wants an ADSL solution with good service and value for money.

This model will help ensure your marketing and campaign activities are aligned to your customers' needs and this will also help optimise your return on investment.

Always start with the customer.