Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.
Cool is a matter of taste, yes, but there’s no denying a “cool” brand. Apple, IKEA, Red Bull, Virgin America. By turning out desirable marketing campaigns and by creating innovative products that speak to consumer’s inner desires as much as they do their needs, brands such as these have managed to transcend what it means to simply be a peddler of products; they are “impossibly” cool, some might even argue iconic (or, well on their way). A cool product makes its consumers cool by association. But beyond the hip advertising, lust-worthy promotions and savvy use of social media, there is another piece to what my Vertical Marketing Network coworkers and I call the “possible” cool puzzle. For marketers, that piece lies in the gray space between brand loyalty and brand passion. Two sides of the same coin? Not quite. A recent study defined brand passion as “corresponding to the enthusiasm, the infatuation or even the obsession of a consumer for a brand.” Brand loyalty, on the other hand, is ultimately defined by the almighty dollar (after all, this is what marketing is about). While the aforementioned study argues brand loyalty and recognition can influence brand passion, it concludes the street is not always two-way: “Brand passion can influence brand commitment and positive word-of-mouth, but not willingness to pay more for a brand.” What makes a brand cool? The ability to navigate the road.
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like cool brands inspire brand loyalty while continually fueling brand passion. Nothing says cool like a complete package, and while loyalty pays the bills, passion is the ultimate accessory.
We’d be remiss to think that brands such as the ones mentioned above — not to mention countless others — are unaware of the image they are creating. In a world steeped in social media, we need look no further than Facebook to track consumer opinions; the “like” feature has become the ultimate popularity barometer (and how many times have we heard demands for a “love” button?). This passion — be it for brands, products, places or things — is palpable. Smart marketers should use this buzz to help create brand loyalty, popularity and cash register DING DING DINGS! Cool brands can have it all.
Here, 5 tips for fueling the cool flame:
1. To Thy Own Brand Be True — Start by knowing your brand and your consumer base. Be honest about the former and straightforward with the latter. We need look no further than the Queen of Big Box Cool, Target, to see how the everyday shopping experience can be made extraordinary.
2. Create An Experience — A 2010 Coolest Brands Survey found a cool experience is now what matters most in the definition of cool. But be warned: when it comes to creating a consistent image across major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your company website), less is more. Confuse your consumer with too much information, and they might look somewhere else.
3. Keep Up On The Trends, But Don’t Be Trendy — Even in the fast-changing world of social media, some outlets have proven to be more than fads, while others haven’t. Be careful of jumping on every bandwagon. Today’s Next Big Thing could be tomorrow’s MySpace.
4. Laugh Lines — More classic than cool, brands such as Ford are turning to humor to engage consumers. Perennial cool brand Heineken is great at this. Laughter’s not only good medicine, it’s a great motivator. What’s your punch line?
5. Don’t Be Complacent — Nothing says effortless, timeless, desirable cool like consistency. That said, don’t be afraid to push boundaries and grow your brand. Cool brands don’t rest on their laurels; they continually reinvent themselves and respond to the changing world.
Fearlessness is cool. And cool brands sell.