The other day Jon Bond, our CEO brought up the idea of upping the “like” button to a “love” button and that got me thinking. Are there brands out there that Moms love? And what were the ingredients that made that brand a “loveable” brand? So instead of offering up my sole opinion, I reached out to some of my Moms friends to see what they had to say. And they had A LOT to say.
“What makes me love a brand? Well, you know, there’s more than just product these days. I feel like I have to love the message, the customer service, the feelings I associate with a brand. For example, I love going into a Lululemon or Coach store. They KNOW how to do service; its part of their culture. It makes me feel good to part with my money there. They don’t make me feel lucky to shop there, but rather that they’re lucky to have me.
Other brands like Dove have excellent messaging that attracts me. It’s not so much about the products (many others are similar) but how they’ve differentiated themselves by caring about things I care about.
Similarly, Coke or McDonalds trying to get us to look away from unhealthy products by focusing on their feel good efforts offends me. Or Gap who insulted our intelligence with their PR grabbing fake logo change.
I guess I want brands to act ethically and respectfully, and to value me, the consumer, who is the hand that feeds them.”
And I was really only asking for a quote or a brief thought, but Lucretia Pruitt, formerly @geekmommy and who now muses on the web under her given name and exposes much wisdom at The Social Joint, gave me an excellent list which is so Lucretia if you know her. And since it was so insightful I thought I should just publish it as is. Thanks, Lucretia!
“Secondly: speaking strictly for myself, yes, there are brands out there that Moms love. I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t say that *every* single time this subject comes up, Disney is in the top 5 when it comes to moms I know, have worked with, or have surveyed for a study. Having asked a very similar question in a previous study that included dozens of moms, more than 50 of which gave back answers and commentary that went beyond the original questions. From that study, I inferred that there are characteristics that make up a brand that is a loveable brand.”
1) The brand provides a consistently high quality product at a fair price
2) The brand appears to value their employees and their customers. (This one is tricky, it gets into corporate culture and Community Management procedures.)
3) The brand image fits in with the Moms image of her family and their lifestyle
4) The brand may be tied to positive childhood memories (if the brand precedes the generation, it’s possible that ‘my grandmother always used Jif peanut butter becomes a positive association with the brand that really doesn’t have to do with the brand as it does with the family ritual.)
5) The brand makes the Mom feel good about being a customer – possibly by making her feel like she’s a “smart and savvy” customer for having found and bought their product or by being the brand everyone else is using so she’s now ‘part of the club’.
Those are the big ones. Most brands don’t make it past line one. Seems it’s kinda hard to do good quality, low price, consistently. Far more often is poor quality, low price or worse high quality way too high a price. And that consistency thing? Yeah, that’s why all the cable providers have come up with “no we really won’t change your rate – we’ll lock it in for 2 years” promises right now.
Don’t even get me started on the amount of poor quality, poor customer service and poor user experience…brands wonder why they can’t get on the “loved” list.”
And everyone I spoke to had the same basic 3 pillars that equated with brand love: put the customer first, make consistently great products, exceed expectations in the customer service arena and be respectful/honest. And if the brand succeeds they will have incredible stories circulating the web like this one from Erica Ehm, publisher of the YummyMummyClub.
“The brand I heart is @WESTJET – an airline that cares to connect with their customers authentically, both in social media and through their call centre (and of course in the air). I had an incredible experience with them not so long ago that was so fantastic, it prompted me to write a blog about it here. After my extraordinary experience, Sarah Gunn, aka @lovelaughshop recently tweeted @Westjet for help getting her sick mom home and not only did they change the flight for her, they did all the booking on her behalf! A company that exceeds expectations is a brand worth loving.”