We at Kompas Strategy are very excited about an article published in the Journal of Marketing titled “Brand Attachment and Brand Attitude Strength: Conceptual and Empirical Differentiation of Two Critical Brand Equity Drivers”. * This publication validates thorough academic research that “Brand Attachment” generates brand value for organizations.
Findings The authors define “Brand Attachment” as “the strength of the bond connecting the brand with the self.” This is the brand “self-connection” consumers’ feel when the brand represents an element of their identity stimulating attachment, relationship and emotion. The authors indicate this is different and more powerful than “brand-prominence” which they define as the “ease” to which the brand comes to mind.
Through their research, the authors show that “Brand Attachment” contributes significant value to the organization. The authors report, the stronger the bond between consumers and the brand, the more they are willing to forsake personal resources to maintain an on-going relationship with the brand. Consumers are more willing to invest time, money, energy and reputation to maintain or deepen their relationship with the brand. In other words, they will pay a premium price, recommend the brand, and go out of their way to find it and defend it to others.
A perfect example of ideal brand attachment is the firm ground that supports Apple and its consumers. They are willing to wait for hours in long lines to get the latest products (time), will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over other brands (money), read the latest publications for updates on their beloved products (energy), and in the most extreme cases, Apple lovers will go so far as putting the logo on their car (reputation). Have you ever seen an IBM or Dell sticker on a car that was not of an employee? Exactly…. Apple consumers are deeply attached and as a result, Apple is one of the largest companies in the world not only financially but also in terms of backing by loyal supporters.
Conclusion This research comes with great enthusiasm from our team because “Brand Attachment” is at the core of our beliefs, and this article validates the value we create for our clients. From the start, we have believed that the best brands form almost “unbreakable” bonds with consumers that result in premium pricing, consumer loyalty and word of mouth. These bonds can be created through in-depth insight into the motivations of consumer, and crafting an offer that resonates with consumer identity in a meaningful way.
There is no denying that consumers envision brands as an extension of the self and are favored over competitors due to years of personal experience that no one else can replicate for the consumer. The bottom line here is that brands reinforce our identity, strengthen our confidence and most importantly: they make us happy. Now, it is up to the brands themselves to fulfill our needs.
Written by Mark Capper, president of Kompas Strategy
* Whan Park, C., Deborah J. MacInnis, Joseph Priester, Andreas B. Eisingerich, and Dawn Iacobucci. “Brand Attachment and Brand Attitude Strength: Conceptual and Empirical Differentiation of Two Critical Brand Equity Drivers.” Journal of Marketing 74.6 (2010): 1-17. Print.