Putting your brand on the Love Index

Bronwyn van der Merwe

Bronwyn is the managing director of Fjord Australia, part of Accenture Interactive.

How much do your customers love your brand, product or service?And more importantly, why?

A recent initiative by Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive) seeks to answer this question. Using advanced analytics, the ‘Love Index’ ranks brands in terms of the way they are perceived by consumers, helping organisations understand what drives brand love, loyalty and advocacy.

Why love?To meet the demands of today’s consumers, it is no longer enough for brands to simply create things people like. In an ever-evolving landscape of emerging and disruptive technology, the brands that will rise to the top will be those with the ability to curate experiences people love.

People love brands for a number of reasons. Some love a brand because it is fun, others because it makes their life easier. And while marketers are beginning to recognise the true potential of understanding customer needs, they’re still struggling to convert these sentiments into actionable outcomes.

While brand measurement tools are certainly not new – the Net Promoter Score for instance, is an internationally recognised tool that measures customer experiences – in most cases, these tools fail to ask the critical question: Why? Developed using a human and design-centric approach, the ‘Love Index’ accurately measures consumers’ affinity towards a brand by determining how brands are performing in key areas across five dimensions:

  1. Fun – the brand’s ability to hold consumer attention in an entertaining way.
  2. Relevant – the brand’s ability to provide the customer with clear and customised information they want, when they want it.
  3. Engaging – the brand’s ability to relate to the consumer and adapt to their expectations.
  4. Social – the brand’s ability to establish a connection between consumers.
  5. Helpful – the brand’s ability to simplify tasks and organise aspects of consumer’s lives.

Beyond this, the Index helps marketing strategists benchmark their brand against their competitors and inform them about ways their brands can remain loved in their high performing categories, while improving in others.

In essence, the Love Index builds on Kevin Robert’s ‘Lovemarks’ notion that many of the traits people seek in their human relationships also apply to their relationships with brands. The Love Index is shaped around this concept that great brands have always been created with love, inspiration and emotion.

Unsurprisingly, the Love Index found tech giants, Apple and Google, and broadcast disruptor, Netflix to be the three brands consumers love most across the world. In general, the results indicate ‘disruptor’ brands are out-performing their traditional counterparts. Amazon, for instance, outperforms Walmart, Target and Best Buy for retail.

In hospitality, AirBnB tops the ranks in the ‘social’ and ‘helpful’ categories, and Tesla outperforms Ford, BMW and Chrysler in the automotive industry.

The high performance of disruptor brands on the Index indicates the need for traditional brands to innovate quickly. Large organisations need to adapt to the extremely high and rapidly changing expectations of what a service should provide, which requires research and the creation and design of new services, products and experiences.

In today’s culture of ‘liquid expectations’, where each new experience becomes the standard to which all others are compared, customers have come to expect the same experiences across a multitude of industries. Whether their flight is cancelled, or they are making an online shopping order, irrespective of industry, brands are now being measured against the experience they receive from leading organisations.

To keep pace with high performing disruptors and customer experience leaders, traditional brands need to innovate quickly and identify ways to customise their offering across industry dimensions. For instance, bricks-and-mortar brands looking to differentiate themselves, could redefine the shopping experience for their customers by introducing strategies to uplift their performance along the Social dimension.A government agency may look to innovate through introducing elements of Fun into their customer experience.

Our love of brands is not an easy thing to measure, but the Love Index is an attempt to develop a greater understanding into how they are being perceived, and how they can learn from those brands leading the way in customer service.

Tags: customer engagement, brand strategy

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