Brand Connections Have Changed

Acting on Emotional Connections Is Key to Managing Your Brand

Agile at ENGINE is a philosophy, one that ensures we’re mindful of our clients’ challenges. It’s a philosophy that keeps us moving at the speed of their business and one that values progress and partnership over perfection, because, well – perfect doesn’t last and progress gains momentum that drives growth.

Our clients are working hard to understand how their products, services and brands fit into a COVID shaped world. Like it or not… we’ve changed. And, like it or not… we’re still not in control of our brands – consumers are. We’re seeing our most strategic client teams working to stay ahead of where behavioral change has forced its way into consumers’ lives, all in an effort to stay ahead of where momentous-change meets the momentum of our new-normal.

At ENGINE, we believe brands that develop meaningful, emotional connections with consumers benefit from more stable, longer lasting (and therefore more profitable) customer relationships. This philosophy is also supported by a recent Qualtrics XM institute study where it’s reported that “92% of people who gave a high score for ‘emotion’ (from a brand in a digital experience) said they were likely to (make a) purchase.” And it’s why we’ve landed on an approach that helps brand management understand, and act on, newly developing emotional truths simply by making more of their existing brand tracking programs.

 

“We’re seeing our most strategic client teams are working to stay ahead of where behavioral change has forced its way into consumers’ lives, all in an effort to stay ahead of where momentous-change meets the momentum of our new-normal.”

 

If you step back, it’s easy to understand why emotion matters. Brands that connect emotionally are humanized – classified differently. They have their own voice, face, POV and they earn the ability to win, lose, “wow” and even disappoint us – all while continuing to connect and carry on. It’s why, at ENGINE, we frequently recommend that clients invest in Brand Activation. Where many well-funded brand measurement programs look back to understand “how did we do,” we aim to ensure that our clients’ programs also look forward, answering “why did that happen and what can we do with what we’ve learned”. We help to put the consumer at the center of the assessment (where they should be) and socialize insights to support connected decision making.

For instance, a national bank that needs to understand why its new positioning that focuses on people is on the heels of a key competitor’s technology based campaign, or a national insurer that needs to assess why their mascot isn’t holding up like it used to in driving awareness. Brand tracking studies measure what’s happening; adding Brand Activation with ENGINE puts you directly in contact with target customers to dive into “why” and capture the voice of the customer for executive decision making. Understanding if “consideration” increased against the competition is not enough; there is an essential connection when decision makers hear the customer say “dial-it-back with the mascot – we’ve got more to think about right now than saving 20%”. Knowing and socializing the “whys” behind tracking results is critical in making meaningful, connected changes to positioning and creative.

As you manage your brand, ask yourself where the brand should go next. Consider asking “why” more often, in the context of brand tracking, to frame the results as more of a playbook than a report card.

 


Written by Jim Nelson, SVP at ENGINE Insights.

 

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