Exploring and enhancing brand love


A youth-centric global media brand was concerned that it no longer aligned with the needs and aspirations of its target. So we were faced with a number of interlocking challenges here: What are the 'hot buttons' for young people today - what's really important to them? What emotional and rational characteristics drive 'brand love' and is there a unified model here? How can this iconic brand recapture lost love and align more closely with its audience?

This was a large scale qualitative study (15 markets across Europe, Asia and LatAm) and the nature of the objectives suggested a multi-stage approach. We kicked off with an on-line questionnaire to gather rich data about personal media preferences - what they love and what they loathe. We then ran a two week online community in each market to explore what's really important to young people, to avoid pat answers we adopted a deliberately 'spiky' moderation style which led to some really passionate debate. Selected respondents also completed self-filmed video diaries to help bring the debate to life. We then cherry picked the best respondents in each market for focus groups where we explored brand love and attitudes to the brand in real depth. Finally we ran a cross-market validation where all respondents rated a series of brand measures identified in the preceding stages.

This was a large scale, methodologically complex qualitative study but the way forward was clear. We identified a surprising degree of cross-market consistency in terms of the lives and aspirations of the target, allowing us to make a focused series of recommendations to be applied at a global level. We developed an original brand love model, stress tested this against numerous brands and sectors, and then applied this intellectual framework to understand the issues facing the client. Finally we identified a series of brand statements to track the brand in a more meaningful way than the existing measures used.

Michael Chan