The pain of heartbreak. The guilt of the break-up. Here’s the story.
My First Love
I tried a new brand of household products about two years ago. They advertised on Facebook. The advertising was silly. It made the point. The product was environmentally friendly, and it came in the mail by subscription.
I tried it. I liked it. End of story. Let’s call them Brand #1.
Then, a Meet-Cute
A year later, I discovered another brand that sold different household products for different uses in my home. Also environmentally friendly, non-toxic, subscription. Let’s call them Brand #2.
Brand #2 became known to me, almost personally. The people who created and marketed the brand were real personalities, real human beings. Somehow, I felt I knew them. I don’t, but it feels like I do. I follow them on social media and watch their videos. I respond to their posts, and they to mine.
Plus, their other customers were just like me. I was part of some kind of fan club or community of advocates and cheerleaders. I liked being part of it. I felt included.
When Brands Do Right By Their Base vs. Wrong
What is it about that feeling of inclusivity? Being part of a brand’s inner circle makes customers feel special… even though, in reality, that’s their job. Understanding customer insights and buying triggers, providing customer service that shows they (really) care. It’s all part of the branding/value proposition package. It speaks to a brand’s character.
“I tried it. I liked it. End of story.”
What makes a brand relationship precarious, at times, is when brands falter, even just a blip. Brand love can turn into brand satisfaction, then into brand tolerance, and finally brand annoyance if not handled properly. Anything less than brand love risks the relationship.
This doesn’t apply only to small or mid-tier companies, either. No brand is too big to fail when it comes to integrity--something we’ve witnessed more of as of late.
Alternatively, brands that rise to the occasion are deserving of the love they receive.
An Enriched Relationship: Brand #2 Stepped Up Their Game
Just recently, Brand #2 started selling additional products. The same products as Brand #1. Same environmentally friendly, subscription, never-run-out, products.
What to do??
I was completely satisfied with Brand #1, but I loved Brand #2. They sort of looked the same, too! I was secretly hoping Brand #2 just bought Brand #1, and then I wouldn’t have to choose.
But, I did choose. I cancelled my subscription with Brand #1, and switched. Sight unseen, products untried.
How did this happen to a marketing pro like me? Ah, the brand gets me every time.
Sorry, Brand #1. It’s not you, it’s me.